Los Angeles-born Mike Amiri began his career as a designer in Hollywood, crafting stage pieces for rock n’ roll legends playing gigs on the Sunset Strip. The creative’s street-meets-couture aesthetic crystalized in 2014, when he had the opportunity to design a capsule collection for high-end L.A. concept store Maxfield. Amiri the brand was born, making its initial mark on the industry with an aesthetic characterized by grunge-inspired designs, denim, leather and detailed craftsmanship.
Over the past eight years, the OTB Group-owned label has flourished, becoming one of few American brands to occupy a place on L.A.’s Rodeo Drive next to world renowned European fashion houses. Amiri is on track for global domination, with stores in Las Vegas, New York, Miami and plans to plant its stake in Chicago and Atlanta, as well as Dubai, Shanghai and Tokyo. Amiri told the Wall Street Journal that the brand is poised for a more than 50 percent increase in sales this year, totaling $250 million.
Global market data from NPD Group placed Amiri at the top of the list for men’s luxury jeans in 2021, and the brand is working to defend its title through advancements that bridge physical retail and the virtual realm. Amiri will use Tulip, a suite of cloud-based mobile retail solutions, to provide clientele capabilities for its stores, enabling shoppers to connect with associates through one-on-one appointments or even video calls. With the help of OTB, Amiri is also looking to develop products for the metaverse.
In 2021, the brand launched The Amiri Prize, an annual award and fashion incubator for emerging fashion talent in the U.S. Aiming to provide support and opportunities for young and often underserved creatives looking to break into the industry, the 2021 award consisted of a $100,000 grant and a year-long mentorship with the designer. Some of the sector’s most influential players, from Spunge’s Salehe Bembury to Diesel creative director Glenn Martens and Chris Gibbs, owner of Union Los Angeles, served as deciding panelists. Amiri hopes that the prize will enable other independent designers to “forge an unconventional path and find success outside of the current establishment.”