In the age of the high fashion/art collaboration, here’s a guy who really, really gets it.

Adam Kimmel has been mining the art world for inspiration from the beginning, focusing mainly on the new downtown art scene in New York City. The connection has never felt fake or disingenuous, mainly because the worlds he imagines through his designs are worlds he really knows. From Whitney-types to the beatnik art scene that grew out of his home state of California, Kimmel’s vision is always grounded in reality — real men living real lives.

a young Gerard Malanga (photo by Stephen Shore)

Kimmel’s always turned to his brother, fashion photographer Alexei Hay, to shoot his lookbooks but for his Fall/Winter 2009 collection he sought the lensman help of Gerard Malanga, Andy Warhol’s right hand man in the days of the Factory. And to further blur the lines of art and fashion, Kimmel took Malanga’s shots of this collection and exhibited at the Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery in Paris.

And, once again, Kimmel let his clothes speak the way they’ve always best been heard — on the backs of some real men.

Many, like artists Adam McEwen, Dan Colen, Ryan McGinley, Aaron Young and Nate Lowman are familiar faces in the Kimmel lineup, friends and occasional models since the beginning. And don’t miss Christopher Bollen, who seems to be everywhere these days.

Then, there are some fresh new faces…

A-Ron the Downtown Don in the mix with Glenn O’Brien, Interview director and GQ’s longstanding Style Guy? That’s just downright whimsical. And if you’re privy to  O’Brien’s past as the original scene kid hustler, their mirror-image poses are much more than coincidence. Just two versions of the same trendsetting spirit? Besides, O’Brien still shops at Supreme.

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