4 posts tagged "AMI"
Thirty-two-year-old Alexandre Mattiussi has been on our radar since launching Ami, his line of smart, approachable menswear, two years ago. And tomorrow, the Paris-based designer will celebrate a notable milestone: the opening of his first stand-alone boutique. A homey converted atelier in Paris’ 3rd arrondissement, Ami (which, you’ve no doubt noticed, is a play on the designer’s name as well as the French word for “friend”), fuses design elements Mattiussi holds dear, such as the parquet floors of a Parisian apartment and decor you’d find in a tailor’s workshop.
Mattiussi learned the ropes designing for houses like Dior, Givenchy, and Marc Jacobs, and his own line reflects his luxurious take on easy, masculine dressing. “I really wanted to do clothes that I could wear and afford,” explained the designer during a preview. “Ami is clothing for me and my friends. It’s not intimidating, it’s not too expensive, and it’s definitely not pretentious.”
On the racks (which he also designed) hang thick mustard and burgundy wool-alpaca sweaters, shirts in Japanese poplin, checked overcoats, and wool cashmere suits the designer calls “city but casual.” Like his clothes, the prices are “not intimidating,” too, starting at about $170 and hovering in the mid-three digits (although one of his sheep-lined denim jackets runs about $1,900). Also on offer are accessories like sleek brogues and floral-print baseball caps by the niche brand Larose (the first of several collaborative projects Ami has lined up). “I like the idea of a multifaceted collection,” says Mattiussi. “It’s not too conceptual or intellectual. It’s like soup: If all the ingredients are good and the result is good, we serve it up.”
Ami is located at 109 boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris, +33-9-83-27-65-28.
Ami is more than a name. Alexandre Mattiussi has always insisted that his label keep a friends-and-family vibe, which extends to his presentations as much as his clothes. For Fall, he gathered pals—and models—in a Parisian apartment. No usual fashion-show stuffiness here. The drinks flowed, the decibel level was only a mite below roar, and even the models, released from their usual Blue Steel obligations, were joking around and having a good time. That particular party ended in January, but its wardrobe just hit stores, including Opening Ceremony, Barneys, The Webster, and Mr Porter. In celebration and in fond memory, Mattiussi sent over a video shot at the Fall presentation, exclusively for Style.com. Click to watch, above
Alexandre Mattiussi, the young French menswear designer behind Ami—that is, “friend”—launched his first collection at Barneys New York last night. The casual, affordable line, which now hangs in the retailer’s Co-Op stores, drew an appreciative crowd of editors, bloggers, and the occasional actor. (That’d be Bryan Greenberg, who was overheard to recall that the fifth-floor surroundings looked familiar…because his character on How to Make It In America had been fired from them on the show’s first season.)
Barneys is fêting its new acquisition with the pomp you’d accord to a new chum, and so before it sends Mattiussi out on a national tour—”it’s my Lady Gaga tour!” he exclaimed—it threw him a cozy dinner at Le Bilboquet on the Upper East Side. Old friends and new came to celebrate, including Barneys’ Mark Lee, Dennis Freedman, and Amanda Brooks, Matt Kliegman and Carlos Quirarte, designer couple Alexander Olch and Jennifer Murray, and Joseph Altuzarra, who’d known Mattiussi ever since the two worked at Givenchy years ago. (“He’s exactly the same,” Altuzarra reported.) The designer’s next stops: Chicago, San Francisco, and L.A., all for the first time. Before that? A surprise birthday cake, courtesy of his new pals. Five days ago, l’ami turned 31.
For a guy who paid his dues at Dior, Givenchy, and Marc Jacobs, Alexandre Mattiussi doesn’t have much time for directional fashion. “It’s a collection for real people,” he said in his Paris studio. “For my friends, who are my inspiration.” He was talking about the new label he’s debuting for Fall: AMI, French for “friend.” He was so committed to the concept that his debut presentation, staged in a local Paris watering hole during the menswear shows, confused some of the editors who attended. It looked just like some guys hanging out in a bar, drinking. That, the designer laughed, was exactly the point: “Just a Friday night in Paris with the boys.”
If those boys happened to be better dressed than most, all to the good. Mattiussi’s collection, which ranges from T-shirts through suiting and even formalwear, emphasizes the kind of wearable, affordable pieces that made like-minded lines such as A.P.C. such a success. Versions of the standards are all on offer—suiting separates, single- and double-breasted coats, jeans, knits—though here distinguished by clever touches, like mixed fabrications. They’re more subdued than some of Paris menswear’s louder gestures, but no less welcome for that. Mattiussi’s jean cuffs are lined in gray flannel; his wool hoodie boasts jersey sleeves.
Going forward, Mattiussi hopes to open his first shop in Paris in the next year. (In the meantime, several big-ticket retailers have already been through the studio with an eye to picking up the first collection.) At the shop, he’ll invite pals to collaborate with him to design limited-edition pieces—amité in action.