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Ami's Amis

Paris toasts ANDAM winner Alexandre Mattiussi

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Alexandre Mattiussi, center   
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If they were tired, they didn't look it. With Paris fashion week barely over, a cluster of young designers, including Guillaume Henry, Ligia Dias, and Piece d'Anarchive's Priscilla and Deborah Royer, gathered last night in the Ministry of Culture in the Palais Royal to whoop and cheer their friend, Ami designer Alexandre Mattiussi, winner of this year's ANDAM prize. "I'm not just taking this personally; it's great recognition for my team," said the man of the hour after short speeches by the minister of culture, Aurélie Filippetti; the minister for industrial renewal, Arnaud Montebourg; and ANDAM president Pierre Bergé. Mattiussi has already used some of the 250,000-euro prize to redo Ami's Web site, prepare an e-commerce platform (launching this month), hire an assistant, and dream up a few capsule projects. As for his whispered-about women's line, he said, yes, it'll happen: "But not quite yet."

Christine Phung, Mattiussi's onetime classmate and winner of the 75,000-euro First Collections prize, was thinking along similar lines, and her research into new prints and fabrics is already under way. The ultimate dream: "We're a team of seven in less than 300 square feet—I'd love a bigger space at some point!" Elsewhere in the crowd, Renzo Rosso, whose mentoring is part of Mattiussi's prize, told Style.com, "[Alexandre] is very much like me. We're both Virgos, we even share a birthday [September 15], and we have the same mentality about creativity, democratic fashion, and supporting noble causes. I like building with people who share my mentality." So…might Rosso consider formalizing their friendship financially? "Ami is still very small, but never say never—and if the French don't get there first!"

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