French label Ami offers a nonplussed Gallic shrug towards any suggestion they may be classified a fashion brand. Young founder and designer, Alexandre Mattiussi, would rather make the sort of clothes that like-minded friends can fill their wardrobes with. "Personally, I don't put fashion above everything. I am not interested in being a style victim and making AMI fashionable," Mattiussi explains in a starkly atypical statement for most Parisian designers. "The AMI wardrobe could be worn by myself and associates. It is a real line, not another creative design signature for certain elites."
Mattiussi, who honed his skills at Dior Homme's 30 Avenue Montaigne line, Marc Jacobs, and Givenchy, is busying himself with clothes that target the modern Parisian male of today. "When I draw my collection it's about, what's the story of these guys? What does he do on a Saturday or Sunday evening? Is he with his family or in the countryside? Fashion is just a part of life. That's why I say we are not doing a fashion brand, but we make things for people who like nice clothes and who won't have to cut their arm off in the beginning of the month to buy one item." In a time of economic concerns and a desire for lasting quality, it is a winning approach.
Now in its fourth season, Mattiussi has hewn a collection for autumn/winter 2012 around his fable of "city worker heads to the country". Tweed jackets are paired with checked trousers, a rust coloured jacket is loosely tied round the waist of printed chinos. Waxed waterproof jackets come in wine coloured plaid and knits are suitably chunky, all styled under the relaxed Ami aesthetic. With collections progressing from strength to strength, a boutique in Paris is soon to be under development, and there are plans for a companion womenswear line. As for Mattiussi's future goals, they are equally charming with a soupçon of that irrepressible je ne sais quoi. "To wake up happy every morning, enjoy working on my collection with people I love, and to stay positive. Cause there's no reason to worry. Everything should be fine." §