Mike Amiri is the innovative designer behind the eponymous brand Amiri. Driven by the grunge and punk subcultures that he grew up with, he got inspired to incorporate the edgy underground vibe in his designs. Mike’s creations maintain effortless Californian style. He creates remarkable pieces of clothing for both men and women and his collections predominately include ready-to-wear ripped jeans, logo sweatshirts and tees, tailored nylon bombers and vintage flannel shirts. Additionally, the brand offers footwear and accessories, such as sneakers, boots, and hats.
Mike was born and raised in LA and he entered the fashion world many years ago working with other clothing brands. He gained his fashion experience working for J Brand, RRL and Helmut Lang. In 2013, Mike decided to start his own brand. His idea was to use carefully chosen fabrics and complex deconstruction techniques to create his designs.
Amiri’s signature MX1 jeans are priced $1,000 or higher and the production time takes up to 5 months. The jeans first get destroyed then rebuilt with French plonge leather patches in order to attain the careless rock n’ roll look. His moth-eaten hoodies are made from the finest Italian cashmere blend and strategically spiced with shotgun pellets somewhere in the wilderness of Joshua Tree. No wonder Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik like to twin in them!
Amiri is unique in many ways. First of all, unlike other brands, Amiri offers luxury pieces of clothing with a strong vintage feel. The founder of the label explains his philosophy: “Today’s luxury consumer wants something that is really unique and tells a story. You can either find those qualities in vintage, or you can create something that has all the energy and characteristics of a vintage piece but the feel, fit, and fabrication of a luxury garment.”
The LA-based designer claims that his main inspiration comes from the ‘80s and ‘90s, when grunge and rock n’ roll bands were playing at the Whiskey a Go Go bar and the gritty nightclub Viper Room on Sunset. The fringe rock n’ roll style that famous musicians such as Guns n’ Roses, Mötley Crüe, Van Halen and their fans were maintaining, fascinated and encouraged Mike to start designing his own vintage but luxury garments. Even though Mike owes the inspiration to the good old rock n’ roll style, the production of his garments follows a strict French atelier’s procedure.
“Every destruction point, every stitch, paint splatter and chipped brass button is thought through,” Mike explains about the production procedure. “Every hole is individually cut out by hand and each patch stitched using hand-embroidery machines. It enhances the vintage feel and makes it look like your girlfriend sewed it for you. Everything is imperfect yet perfectly different.”
The unconventional designer opened his first studio in a small basement of a rock n’ roll themed Thai restaurant in Hollywood. His humble studio was visited by many celebrity stylists who were buying clothes for their world-famous clients. Some of his first celebrity clients were Steven Tyler and Usher. Many doors opened for Mike when the cult LA boutique Maxfield bought three pieces of his clothes including a pair of old-school leather pants. Mick Jagger was the first who spotted the vintage leather pants and bought them.
To this date, Amiri attracted many A-listers into Maxfield’s store in West Hollywood. Keith Richards and Future were spotted wearing Amiri’s merlot silk and velvet bomber jacket. The New York Giant’s wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. often times wears the brand from head to toe. Additionally, Justin Bieber’s stylist Karla Welch is a regular customer. Now the label is considered as one of Maxfield’s best-selling menswear lines.
Other retailers also showed interest for Amiri’s designs and now the label is available for purchase in more than 140 stores around the globe. Some of the most famous retailers that sell Amiri’s clothes are The Montaigne Market in Paris, Webster in Miami and Antonia in Milan. Amiri’s most recent launches include a women’s capsule collection dominated by the ’90s style and men’s and women’s Fall 2017 collections. Mike will be presenting his Fall 2017 collections and his new line of bags and sneakers in a pop-up shop on May 13th at Maxfield Gallery in West Hollywood.
Amiri’s main goal is to bring the LA style back to its roots: “For too long, L.A. style has been appropriated by European fashion houses,” says Amiri. “It’s about time we bring it home.”
Photo Courtsey of Amiri