Levine, wearing a tie-dyed sweatshirt from his Kmart line.
Sure, he’s the lead singer of one of the most successful bands in contemporary pop music, but Adam Levine is so much more than that. The reality—whether or not his haters (and there are many) want to admit it—is that the chiseled-jawed Maroon 5 frontman is, well, one of the most recognizable celebrities around right now. Much of that, of course, is because of his multi-year stint as a coach on NBC’s The Voice, a venture that’s likely already caused him to win over the heart of your mother, aunt, and sister.
But now, having already stepped out into the world of film with a supporting role in this year’s Begin Again, the 35-year-old, who recently married Victoria’s Secret runway model Behati Prinsloo, is venturing into the realm of fashion. Earlier this month, he launched his own Kmart fashion line, and the 96-piece collection, which runs the gamut from flannels to striped cardigans to hefty jackets, is quite impressive. We rang up Levine on a recent afternoon, and the new designer sounded off on his foray into fashion, his recent nuptials, and his inevitable studio team-up with Pharrell Williams.
DETAILS: So, why design a clothing line?
Adam Levine: I had always wanted to do it. I just hadn’t really figured out how. When we were approached by Kmart, I kind of realized it would be the best thing because it was going to be clothes that were affordable and there wasn’t an insulting price tag. And I like the idea that you can make really great clothing that looks attainable and cool and simple and well made.
DETAILS: Has fashion been something you’ve always cared about?
Adam Levine: I think it plays a big role in my life. It’s pretty profound. People don’t like to make it sound so serious, and I understand that, because it’s not. It’s just clothes. But I think fashion plays a role in everybody’s life. Whether you care or not, when you get up and put something on and leave the house, you ultimately are communicating something. You put something on and decide to go walk into the universe. So yeah, I think it matters to everybody, but just to varying degrees.
There are many things that I never could have possibly imagined happening. My singular dream from when I was really young was just to make it in music at all costs and to go at it and try my hardest and make this dream come true. But then there are things like The Voice and having the fashion line and being in a movie. Those are the types of things that were not necessarily part of the plan but just happened naturally and organically. And I think the clothing line is no different: It was an opportunity that presented itself, and I thought, Wow, that would be a cool thing. My family is in the clothing business, and it just felt good. It felt like the right thing. You kinda just gotta flow with it, right? [Laughs]
DETAILS: I’m glad you brought up your film debut in Begin Again.
Adam Levine: I really enjoyed it. And I think that having had so much fun doing it makes me curious about doing it more. I think I’ll probably take it day by day and see what happens. But I had a lot of fun. It was one of those experiences I’ll never forget. And if I never do it again, I’ll know that the one experience I did have was beautiful. From the people I worked with, to the movie that wound up being so great, everything was just so wonderful. I don’t want to screw it up. [Laughs] I was one for one, and I don’t want to do it wrong now. But I do have a desire to pursue it further.
DETAILS: Tell us about your band’s latest album, V. It’s definitely a continuation of the pop realm explored on Overexposed.
Adam Levine: There is a misconception about us, and especially among our most hard-core fans: Maroon 5’s goal from the beginning was to become very, very successful. The goal was to have everybody love our music. That was part of what we wanted to accomplish. So we’ve always been doing things in the name of pop music. So this album is obviously no different. But the stylistic changes have been interesting over the years. I think it’s our best music that we’ve ever made. I think it’s the most whole album we’ve ever made: Everything is well thought-out, everything is well executed. There are some amazing sonic landscapes going on on this record. It’s really fun to be able to achieve that after so many years.
DETAILS: I didn’t see the cover of Marcy Playground’s “Sex and Candy” coming.
Adam Levine: [Laughs] That’s one of those songs that always sounded like a Prince song. The execution of it was very nineties and very nonchalant in that nineties way. But to me, it was exactly like hearing “Nothing Compares 2 U” or that Joan Osborne song or a Prince song. It’s funny how a great songwriter is a great songwriter. I think it’s a really brilliant song. But it was probably performed in the kind of way that would have never led you to believe it’s a soul song. But it kind of is.
DETAILS: You and Blake Shelton have never missed a season of The Voice. You clearly still love working on the show.
Adam Levine: I absolutely adore that show. It’s like my little baby. I don’t think I would have been able to tell you I was going to adore it as much as I do. But the friendships I’ve made with all the coaches and the producers and Mark Burnett, who convinced me to do the show in the first place. But everybody I’ve been involved with and been in contact with for that show, including, obviously, the amazing talent, it’s all been this wonderful kind of dream. It was so successful from the get-go. I couldn’t believe it. It’s almost like you feel like you get to have some success in your life and you feel fortunate and blessed for it, and then something else happens that’s as equal if not larger in magnitude in a realm that you never imagined existing in. You kind have to just say, “Wow. This is a dream come true.” It’s the greatest thing to have two things related to music that you love so dearly.
DETAILS: Here’s the real question: With him now being a coach on the show, when are you getting in the studio to cook up some musical magic with Pharrell Williams?
Adam Levine: I think Pharrell and I both know—we’ve talked about it many times—our inevitable studio session is upon us.
DETAILS: Lastly, do you feel life is now different as a married man?
Adam Levine: [Laughs] Life is just far more beautiful. Let’s put it that way.