ADAM AT THE ART GALLERY: While it might seem that Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine, the latest celebrity collaborating with Kmart, is a newcomer to fashion designing, he actually knows his way around a shoulder pad. His father, Fred Levine, owns a Southern California-based specialty store chain called M. Fredric and used to put the rocker to work. “I did work there in the warehouse,” the younger Levine recalled at a launch party for his women’s line at Ace Gallery in Beverly Hills on Thursday. “Back in the day when shoulder pads were in, I hanged the tags on shoulder pads.” He also played his guitar to entertain coworkers, who alerted him when the boss was on the way. “I’d basically hide from my father,” he said.

Levine and his collection were on full display at the Ace, inspiring a piece of performance art. At one point in the evening, 10 models posing as guests stripped to their skivvies in front of a rack placed in the middle of the gallery and tried on kimono tops, printed maxidresses, straw fedoras and other items. The festive looks fit right in with what women donned at last week’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which Levine attended for the first time. “That was a good thing,” he said of the clothes being on trend. Still, Levine will fess up to not being the biggest fashion fan, jokingly confusing Oscar de la Renta with Oscar De La Hoya and offering to send the line to nonagenarian Betty White, who, in his book, is “f–king awesome.” He also pledged not to design the wedding gown for his fiancée, Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo. “That’s all her thing,” he said.

This story first appeared in the April 21, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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