‘Portrait’ Amiri

Amiri, founded by Mike Amiri in 2014, is one of the hottest fashion houses right now. Based in Los Angeles, Amiri’s quintessentially Californian vision is both laid back and extravagant, with a level of artisanship that has distinguished his coveted label in the luxury market.

The new Hedi Slimane?

There’s something distinctly American about Mike Amiri, a sense that anything is possible and nothing is unattainable. Channeling Jim Morrison’s nonchalant sex-appeal or Axl Rose’s defiantly messy style, Amiri’s collection is a homage to the grunge aesthetic of 1980s and 1990s Los Angeles.

But Mike Amiri doesn’t want to be the new Hedi Slimane. There’s still one thing they’ve in common: to make us look like rock stars. His bombastic take on menswear comes at a time when a new breed of West Coast designer is ruling the rails in global retail. Brands like Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear Of God or Heron Preston are forcing everyone to look again at California and reconsider all their snooty ideas about its style scene. In an interview given to the New York Times he said, “It’s easy to come from L.A. and think what you do is very cool, But a lot of things you do can be really vulgar. You have to know, this might not even be that cool globally.” Amiri knows the importance of balancing the collection between rowdiness and refinement, even if the scale tips slightly toward the former.

Since the label launched in 2014, it has grown so rapidly that sales are projected to reach $40 million this year, according to a The New York Times story from January.

Beside the likes of Virgil Abloh, Jerry Lorenzo and Co., Mike Amiri is one of these designers who have reinterpreted rock staples for a hip-hop era. He takes a pair of skintight jeans from the rock era and puts some oversize shirts and jackets from the hip-hop era on top. “Rock ’n’ roll has never been more dead, but everyone wants to dress like Kurt Cobain.” said Will Welch, the creative director of GQ.

amiri s/s 18 lookbook
s/s 18 lookbook. copyright amiri.

What’s so special about AMIRI?

At the end of the day, when I make clothes, my main motivation is to make people feel good.

There’s still one question to answer. What’s so special and different about Amiri? His designs might have that vintage rare-find vibe about them, but the materials used are 100 percent luxury. He takes something precious and then messes with it. Amiri destroys unstitches a pair of jeans or destroys a jacket, before rebuilding it in his ow vision. Adding intricate linings, triple washes and rarefied upsticks. He works more like an artist than a designer. “At the end of the day, when I make clothes, my main motivation is to make people feel good.” – Mike Amiri.

amiri s/s 18 lookbook
s/s 18 lookbook. copyright amiri.

Also check out Virgil Abloh’s first menswear collection for Louis Vuitton.

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