Ami, by Alexandre Mattuissi
On the occasion of the launch of the Autumn/Winter 2019 season of the Parisian label AMI, the Graduate team invites you, throughout this article, to retrace the path taken by its creator. A man who has always been driven by the love of his loved ones and who has always wanted to convey it through his clothes, Alexandre Mattuissi.
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Alexandre Mattuissi, the lover of beauty
A boy full of dreams
1980, a colourful year with the emergence of a good number of artists. Especially on the musical level where many rock bands, known all over the world today, have had their first success. But it was also that year that Alexandre Mattuissi was born in Normandy. Alexandre was an ambitious boy with a passion for dance he had when he was very young. Indeed, it was after seeing "Swan Lake" on TV that he was convinced that this was what he wanted to do. His goal, the Opéra Garnier in Paris.
He made dance his main occupation from the age of four to fourteen. He managed to enter the prestigious school of the institution he had always dreamed of. But the world of dance, like many others, is merciless: "This was the descent. I find myself in front of five hundred young people with guns in their eyes. In my candor, I hadn't anticipated that... I deliberately missed the contest because I felt my life wasn't there," Alexandre says.
The ascent of a future creator
Always attracted by art and the world of creation, it is to the Duperré school that he turns to study applied arts, design and fashion. He then decided to specialize in men's fashion. He rose through the ranks in this field, starting with internships with José Levy and Cerruti. He got his first jobs in sewing houses and not the least. He works for the men's line "30 Montaigne" at Chirstian Dior, he manages to become the first assistant for men at Givenchy for five years. Finally, Alexandre joins Marc Jacobs' house in men's homes until 2011.
With a wealth of experience in the world of men's fashion, it is only natural that he should create his own men's clothing brand. But how to name this new brand that will be his brand new adventure? Alexandre Matuissi is a very human being who has always been immersed in the love of his loved ones, whether it is his parents or his friends. It is quite simply that he names his company, created in 2010, AMI, with reference to the initials and the last letter of his surname, Alexandre Matuissi.
The friend we all wanted
AMI, of course in reference to the "friend" we all have, a real philosophy of life and fashion. A subject that speaks to everyone, taking the opposite view with many current brands that tend to pull more and more towards concepts disconnected from reality. What could be better than love and friendship to connect us to the reality and happiness of life? This is exactly the message that Alexandre Mattuissi wants to convey through his brand. But it goes beyond a simple message of love.
AMI Paris is also a brand by man for man, they are everyday pieces for a man that we meet every day. Alexandre Mattuissi has never had any difficulty in admitting his simplicity and even his strength. AMI is the casual classic, the style dressed without spending a fortune in a suit you feel tightened in. A buddy locker room for the boys we meet in Paris.
When Alexandre Mattuissi created AMI, he sees it as a family story, something traditional where you work as a team. The job of designing clothes every season, clothes that he loves and would like to see worn on others is his motivation. And of course, all this while keeping the humanity that animates it.
A worldwide message of love
The beginning of an empire
That's when he embarked on this brand new fashion designer adventure, with his kid's dreams in mind, his passion to create and deliver a message of love to everyone. He then unveiled his first autumn-winter 2011-2012 collection, far from the spotlight of Fashion Week, but in a café on rue des Petits-Champs. A friendly atmosphere is felt, a simple moment when the models are like friends who meet at the counter for a drink after work.
His down-to-earth mood and his vision of reality in his creations will quickly speak to the general public. Indeed, after having really launched his label in 2011, he opened his very first official AMI store in Paris in December 2012. But that's not all, her brand, which is only two years old, was awarded the prestigious Andam Prize in July 2013, the National Association for the Development of Fashion Arts.
AMI is renowned and expanding rapidly. In 2015, the brand's first foreign store opened in Tokyo. Then comes the London store in 2016, the Ami Duke Street boutique, which is the largest of all the previous ones. Its creator says it himself: "This store has been part of my dreams since the brand's beginnings, but, and I must admit, I didn't expect it so soon".
Love with a big "L"
From all these collections and this good-natured spirit of the brand, a brand new line is emerging that will be the symbol of the Parisian label, the "Ami de coeur" line. Like a signature that he used to slip into letters to his loved ones, this line is a combination of the casual style and the usual elegance of the AMI man. Decorated with an "A" with a bright red heart on the top, delicately embroidered on the pieces, it becomes the symbol of the brand and spirit that Alexandre has always wanted to transmit in his creations.
There is a direct reference to card games, thanks in particular to its "heart" name and its typography identical to playing cards. This logo brilliantly supports its message of love, friendship, but also the cheerfulness and natural carelessness that its creator has always advocated. There is generally a more streetwear look with a majority of t-shirts and sweatshirts decorated with a logo on the chest. This line is a kind of signature, a key element that embellishes everything and supports all its creation and message from the beginning.
After such a dazzling performance and such a rapidly acquired reputation, what can Alexandre Matuissi do now? Well, it doesn't end there. Quite the contrary. After one of their campaigns was first published in Parisian newsstands at the end of 2017, the creator of the brand with the red heart launched a new challenge. After eight years of collections exclusively for men, he embarked on a brand new adventure called “L’Homme pour la Femme”.
Friendship for all
It has now been eight years since the Matuissi empire was launched. An empire always intended for man. But the designer decided to launch his first collection for women in early 2018. Having noticed that 20% of his customers in one of his Paris boutiques were women and 50% in Korea, Alexandre had the idea to show women in his men's collections.
He therefore decided to dedicate a collection called "L'Homme pour la Femme" to women. "You shorten pants, you barely take back a shoulder, but it's the same. And, in fact, it works," says Alexander. His bias on this collection, which is almost unchanged from that of men, is that male fashion, on a woman's body, is to be equal to equal. A way to assume your femininity while assuming your masculine side.
Today, his latest collection Autumn/Winter 2019 is coming, and as usual, Mr Mattuissi is not disappointing. We still find the season's regulars, like the pieces in the "Ami de coeur" line, which is still as effective as ever. Alexandre has always been committed to being loyal to his customers and to offering them parts that do not change and that they can find every season: "So, out of loyalty to them, there are a few parts of the brand that have never changed. I like authenticity, I'm not here to show off.
This is Alexandre Mattuissi, a lover of love and friendship, a creator with an overflowing humanity who has always conveyed a message of friendliness and joy through his clothes. A philosophy of life that the creator has never lost sight of, just with the name of his label: "AMI".
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By Arthur Appercé