Effortlessly cool luxury out of LA. Meet Mike Amiri, the man behind Justin Bieber’s favorite jeans.
Mike Amiri is the kind of person you wish you were friends with. One of the latest L.A based creatives to make it on an international scale, the designer has managed to transform his childhood hobby into a cult contemporary brand: AMIRI.
The designer built his namesake label from the ground up, capitalizing on his deep affection for his hometown and uncanny ability to deliver exactly what young consumers are looking for: authentic fashion that fits in with their lifestyle. Don’t let the distressed jeans and perfectly worn flannels fool you though. Amiri doesn’t skimp on the quality. Each denim heavy collection is executed entirely in L.A, the product of endless research and the relentless pursuit for high grade fabrics: premium denim, ultra soft cotton and sterling silver plated hardware.
I wanted to create a collection that was very personal to me and reflected LA style reinterpreted from a luxury perspective.
Can you tell us about the creative process?
Now that the collection has grown I have learned to be very conscious of being efficient with creativity. I always write down ideas that I have even if they are a bit crazy. I like to go to places like music festivals, art showings, vintage markets, and neighborhoods that attract young creatives. Most of the time I watch people and take notes or photograph things that inspire me. After a while I will notice a commonality in all the things I have noted and those will serve as the DNA of the collection.
You work a lot with leather inserts. Would it be fair to say it’s your signature?
Since leather inserts were part of the first collection and the response was so strong I think it’s something people automatically connect with the brand.
Where did the inspiration for this come from?
Ever since I was a little kid I would love to patch my own jeans so revisiting this came quite naturally to me. Actually, many of the pieces in the collection were inspired by things I would do in my youth. The only difference is now I have a very strong understanding of textiles and fabrications to communicate with.
What influenced the Spring/Summer 2017 collection?
Summers growing up in LA. Lightweight layering pieces with complimenting colors.
In what ways has being based in LA shaped the aesthetic of the brand?
LA weather makes it easy to wear just t-shirts, jeans, and a cool leather jacket. What separates you is how cool those jeans and t-shirts are. Sometimes the simplest items are the most complicated to make special and I wanted to make something approachable but very special.
If you weren’t designing what would you be doing?
I’d probably be making music.
What are you currently obsessed with?
Your collections have been a huge hit with athletes, celebrities and musicians. Was this a conscious effort or a happy coincidence?
It’s actually a complete coincidence. I wanted to make clothing for people loved the allure of rock and roll style but also did not want to look like they were trying so hard. Effortless cool is the hardest thing to pull off and I think what we do gives people that feeling.
Special thanks to Mike Amiri
Images courtesy of Amiri
This interview has been edited and condensed.