A pool of fashion’s most influential names will decide the recipient of a new prize that aims to nurture creative and entrepreneurs. Luxury streetwear brand Amiri announced Thursday the launch of The Amiri Prize, an annual award and fashion incubator for undiscovered U.S. fashion talent.
The initiative is Amiri founder and creative director Mike Amiri’s effort to develop a support system outside of the “current establishment” for creatives who have not had the education or opportunities that others benefit from.
“As an independent designer, I have had the privilege to forge an unconventional path and find success outside of the current establishment,” Amiri said. “With this success must also come the acknowledgment that there is a clear discrepancy of opportunity within the traditional fashion system.”
Amiri knows a thing or two about success. The Los Angeles-based brand is known for melding the city’s edgy aesthetic with street culture and a unique DIY sensibility. Its signature distressed jeans are currently in high demand—an outlier in the category’s broader shift toward looser, clean fits.
The Amiri Prize, he added, is tailored to young designers who are often overlooked and to help provide opportunity, knowledge and resources to create a foundation for success.
In an effort to support local talent, the award is open to U.S. residents only with a ready-to-wear business up and running for at least one year, but no longer than for three years.
The first-prize winner will receive a sum of $100,000 and a year-long mentorship with the designer. Online applications close on April 18, 2021. Amiri and a panel of designers and entrepreneurs will announce the winner of the inaugural prize in May.
The panel includes: Salehe Bembury, owner of Spunge; Chris Gibbs, owner of Union Los Angeles; Glenn Martens, Diesel and Y/Project creative director; Nikki Ogunnaike, Harper’s Bazaar digital director; Renzo Rosso, OTB president and stylish Karla Welch.