Adam Kimmel may not be a name that springs to mind in the age of Virgil Abloh and Demna Gvasalia, but is one to remember when thinking of the incredible growth of independent menswear fashion. Influenced by Helmut Lang and completing his studies at NYU, Kimmel started his own fashion label in 2005 before eventually going on to launch a successful collaboration with Supreme, garnering fans like Kanye West.
With little startup money or influence behind his name, his first collection was supported by a headhunter, produced in Italy, and eventually bought by the influential store colette – all on his 24th birthday. All that hard work paid off, even more, when Supreme founder James Jebbia took a liking to his designs and quickly snapped him as a project partner. Alongside A.P.C and Thom Browne, Kimmel was one of Supreme’s early collaborators producing three seasons worth of two-piece suits and jumpsuits.
In what many would now consider career suicide, Kimmel canceled his SS13 and abandoned his seven-year business indefinitely, right after the launch of his FW12 collection – which has since been hailed as his last great show. In a recent interview with GQ, the young designer spoke about his reasons for leaving the fashion industry despite having what looked like a promising career ahead. “I just felt this pressure,” he said.
Jebbia himself spoke on Kimmel’s influence: “Adam’s that bridge between Ralph and Helmut – another designer that I greatly admire. Adam had something new to offer. He naturally appealed to young cool people and older people, too, without trying to pander to either. It’s sadly missed.”
From David Blaine swimming in a shark tank to his final Area-51-inspired collection, Kimmell always maintained a forward-thinking eye when it came to his presentations, but something was ultimately missing. “I was just like, ‘I want to be a good husband, I want to be a good dad. I want to take a year off, I want to work on that [other thing], and if this is the thing that’s meant to be, great, I’ll come back,” he said. “But I had a lot of questions. I had a lot I wanted to work on as a human being.”
Five years after the closing of his label, Kimmel reflects on his wonderful but short-lived career as a designer. “I don’t get nostalgic for it – I live in the moment. At the time I was doing it, I really wanted to get it out there and have an impact. Now that I’m not, that’s not important to me.”
You can read the rest of the interview on GQ‘s site.
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