Alexandre Mattiussi founded Ami, as it is today, in 2011. Mattiussi closed down an earlier form of the business, selling shirts and t-shirts through Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and Intermix in New York, in 2002. However, following a meeting with Marc Jacobs CEO Bertrand Stalla Bourdillon, Mattiussi was convinced of the need for investment, and a strong team to support him, in order to give Ami a second try.
The second time around, the label garnered immediate attention from editors, and has fast become a buyers’ favourite. His first collection was picked up by Mark Lee of Barneys New York. Now in its fourth season, the brand is stocked in some of the world’s most prestigious stores — including Bergdorf Goodman, Opening Ceremony and Corso Como — along with its own store, in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. He was awarded the prestigious Andam prize in 2013.
However, Ami, founded on the principle of Mattiussi dressing his friends, is not intended as direct competition to his prior employers. “I like the idea of dressing as many men as I can,” says the designer; the collection’s easy classics and reasonable price points reflect his ambition. “It is a proposition of real clothes for a real man,” says Mattiussi.
“Sales are up by at least 50 percent each season,” and new points of sale are introduced for every season; four seasons in, the figure stands at 120 total. “As for bigger projects, we are still in the brainstorming phase of Ami (petit), which will be a line for boys,” says Mattiussi. The industry awaits Ami(e), a women’s line, an endeavor that Mattiussi has not yet announced but will certainly pursue in his own time.
Mattiussi studied at Duperré School of Applied Arts in Paris, and has previously worked for Dior, Marc Jacobs and Givenchy, where he jointly led the menswear design team before the arrival of Riccardo Tisci.