Adam Levine's Stylist Matt Goldman on Dressing the Maroon 5 Singer & 'Voice' Coach
“If you don’t have a sense of style,” begins Los Angeles stylist Matt Goldman, “I don’t know if you can ever look good in clothes. Or feel comfortable. We all have those days when you get dressed and you don’t feel like yourself. Now imagine that and then going on camera. My job is to make you feel good.”
Then it’s safe to assume that his star client Adam Levine has been feeling extra comfy for a while now when it comes to fashion. On a nightly basis as one of four judges on NBC smash The Voice, the Maroon 5 lead singer is seen in a range of looks. One evening he appears to have walked off the set of a classic Hollywood film in a crisp suit, slicked hair and a clean shave. On another he’s a biker bad-ass in a holey tee, rugged jeans and a face that’s days removed from a razor. And it’s Goldman who helps him put it all together.
Matt’s professional relationship with Adam began just before Levine signed on to become a Voice coach in 2010 and since then he’s been styling him for the cameras—whether their NBC’s, red carpets, or fans’ iPhone snaps. Now with The Voice currently in full swing, Maroon 5 recently releasing their new Kendrick Lamar-featuring single (rumored to support a forthcoming album) and tour around the corner, Levine’s suitcases are sure to be full of the kind of eye-catching garments that have made him a staple on best dressed lists.
Here, Goldman talks to Billboard about styling Levine for various stages, getting late night inspo texts and calls from Adam, and how fast clothes sell out when he wears them.
What’s the challenge in dressing someone like Adam who’s on camera in front of a huge audience so often?
This guy has more than 100 looks a year on air. And in reality, he probably only wants to wear about 50 things in a year. And that’s a lot. He’s a guy that would probably be comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt every day. But he looks good in everything. So how do you pick and chose where he can where it all? You go back to the basics of making a dude look good in himself.
And what makes him a unique client?
Normally celebrity clients have and want to maintain their one image because they’re doing album packaging. They’ll run through some things, but they have to make sure there’s continuity. But when you’re in the public eye and on camera as much as Adam is, you actually can do more things. Most people would be afraid of that, but he loves it. Every season I’ll usually get a one-word text around midnight. Or he’ll call me from somewhere to say, “Hey, I was thinking English football stud.” I’ll giggle and go, “Okay, let’s go for it.” It normally harkens back old Hollywood or very classic menswear, but with his own twist.
Does he ever bring his own clothes to the table?
All the time. When he came back from Japan, he brought these two Japanese Hawaiian shirts. They were amazing. He told me he wanted to start wearing Hawaiian shirts. I was like, “Cool, let’s do it the right way.” All of a sudden, they’re en vogue.
Is there anything he won’t wear?
As long as the looks are real to him, he’ll do it. He’ll push himself to wear a pink sweater. And then the next day, a suit. And then the next day, a shitty sweater. And the best part about Adam is if you didn’t know I existed, it looks like it’s all him every day. That’s what I love. It doesn’t look like somebody dressed him.
There’s definitely a vibe that he gives off that suggest his outfit isn’t overthought.
Does Adam think about what he’s putting on? Sure, we all do. But does he also not kind of give a shit at the same time? Yeah! I think that’s what makes style. If you overthought every detail, it’s not cool anymore. When you have your own sense of style, you wear it. You wear the clothes, the clothes don’t wear you. Adam likes to have fun and try new things. Sometimes it’s my idea, others it’s his. That’s why it works.
There's always fun banter between Adam and Blake Shelton on The Voice. Blake sometimes teases him about his clothes. But Adam remains confident.
On one of the first shows, I put him in this sweater and one of the directors was unsure about it, saying, “I don’t know if we like it.” I liked it. Adam said, “No, I love it. I’m wearing it.” And honestly, I went into the store that sold the sweater later and the owner goes, “We sold out of the sweater in a week when Adam wore it on The Voice.” I giggled, because he didn’t know who I was. It kind of blew up in the Twittersphere, because tons of people were tweeting the show asking, “What’s that sweater?” It was crazy to see the reaction to that silly, easy cardigan. It was a cream and black tweed cardigan. People noticed.
What are some of the dynamics that come into play when styling him for concerts?
For tours, it’s really about being comfortable because there’s so much movement. They’re on stage for two and a half hours a night really working. As much as Adam will really want to do something, he’ll bring a jacket up there and end up taking it off in 30 seconds.
And with videos?
When it comes to music videos, we’ll get a treatment and then Adam and I will sit down and talk about it. Then we’ll try to put together the best outfit for the idea. One of the first videos we did together was “Moves Like Jagger.” Every person in the video looked like an iteration of what Mick Jagger wore in the past. Even the band had a tinge of Jagger-ish vibes.
What are some of your favorite Adam Levine looks you’ve helped him with?
When him and Behati [Prinsloo, his wife] first went to the Emmys [in 2014], they both wore Prada. It was the first red carpet they did as a married couple. They just had so much fun. You could see how electric they were. And when Adam puts on a tux, he just turns into a different man. It’s always nice to see him like that.
How has his style changed or matured since you began working together?
[Adam] always had style. But he didn’t push himself, because he wasn’t on camera every day. Now he’s having fun. He’ll try stuff on that he might not have worn five years ago and go, “This scares me, but maybe it’s perfect.” Then the next day he’ll be like, “No, this is perfect!” That’s a great place to be, comfortable in yourself.