Adam Kimmel x Carhartt: Working It Chic

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Published January 19, 2011

 

PHOTO COURTESY OF ADAM KIMMEL x CARHARTT

Pitti Uomo, Florence’s menswear supermarket, is really a giant game of hide-and-seek. Situated in about 20 buildings (with stylistically evocative names like “Touch!” and “l’Altro Uomo”) are over 1000 labels from all over the world. Wading through the sea of chic Italians and their international counterparts, almost all of them sporting some version of the pea jacket, is distracting. You begin asking: are sockless loafers appropriate in January? Have fatigue pants had it? And then it’s time for a cappuccino. Anything with two sleeves begins to look like more of the same after a few hours here, until you finally spot something great.

At the top of our list would have to be Adam Kimmel x Carhartt. Carhartt, the Dearborn, Michigan workwear brand, established in 1889, has long been a staple for job-site attire and was one of the labels most successfully renovated for urban cool over the past twenty years. But stonewashed canvas and snaps can only carry on so long without becoming a bit status quo. Even the carefully tweaked Carhartt for Europe leans toward the same old workwear. Adam Kimmel, who has been a Carhartt fan since the age of ten, was recommended by Jay Bell of Barneys New York to collaborate with the brand.

The result for fall 2011 is Adam Kimmel x Carhartt, a tightly edited collection that subtly polishes Carhartt and offers the Kimmel signatures (brushed plaid shirts, casual jackets) at a young man’s price, from $80 to $600. Moleskin, a sturdy, velvety textured cotton, and satin linings make work jackets look almost dressy; the flannel sweatshirt is positively chic; there’s one of Kimmel’s slightly twisted western shirts, with embroidered suede collar tips, in the mix; and even the AK x C logo, the Carhartt fat “C” in denim blue, looks sleek.