Regardless of what the rise of the 3-year-old label means in the grand scheme of #menswear, I found AMI interesting for 3 reasons: it’s affordable luxury, their clothes look basic at times, and yet they feel luxurious because of the promised quality.
The fourth possible reason why I like this label is because the founder and designer Alexandre Mattiussi look like a cool and down-to-earth big brother on his Instagram – you can see kids, family and friends frequently appear on his timeline.
That could be a bias. Perhaps, his “personal branding” is working its magic to connect with me here. During my down time, I’m pretty much a big brother hanging out with a bunch of cousins who are at least 10 years my junior. You don’t feel the same kind of connection with King Karl or Mr Jean Paul Gaultier. AMI feels simple and sincere.
“That smooth, skinny blond boy sporting a $4,000 coat on his back? He doesn’t exist. I like the idea of AMI being for the dad who picks up his kids from school, or for the young man who goes out to buy croissants […] To me, AMI is about real life,” says Mattiussi in an interview on his direction for the label.
Speaking of which, if you count Officine Generale in, there are now 2 new Parisian designers who’re doing “real life” fashion as apposed to aspirational fashion or haute couture. In a way, this pattern resonates with the piece “The End of Aspiration” on Slate.com.
Back to the clothes. If Officine Generale is “workwear meets tailoring,” AMI is “Parisian chic meets street wear.” (Here I am, exploiting the term “Parisian chic” once again. Excuse me.)
The clothes are stylish but not overtly trendy. Most of the pieces speak to my taste, and they look like something I can keep, and still can wear when I’m 40. (50 is a little stretch.)
If only I’d married with kids by then, Mattiussi’s part on “[for] dad who picks up his kids from school” might actually come true.
By the way, brother Mattiussi owns a very cool scooter.
AMI Spring/Summer 2015
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Images by Style.com. Mattiussi’s portrait by Audoin Desforges.