Real clothes calling
Alexandre Mattiussi is making an entrance in London, with this week’s opening of his first store, in Mayfair. It’s a big step for the French designer, who founded his label, Ami, just five years ago, since witnessing strong and steady growth.
“This marks an incredibly exciting time for my brand,” Mattiussi says of the store, his fifth worldwide and first in Europe outside of Paris. “I have always loved London, its energy and atmosphere and so this felt like a natural step for the brand.”
The designer, who cut his teeth working for Dior, Marc Jacobs and Givenchy, launched Ami in 2011, named for the friends and family he keeps in mind when designing. Classic yet cool and contemporary, his clothes are the kind that make it easy to get dressed.
Forget fuss, this is about real clothes for real men – a philosophy that no doubt hits home in London. The uncomplicated nuances of Parisian style underline everything Mattiussi does, be it a simple red or blue sweater, a leather trainer, or the well cut coat you throw over it all.
Days before the official opening, Mattiussi is putting the final directive touches on the Duke Street space, which he says has been renovated in a matter of weeks. Collaborating with Studio KO, the architectural firm who designed Ami’s Paris and Tokyo stores, Mattiussi imagined a space where his customers feel at home.
“I want Londoners to feel welcome and comfortable when they enter the Duke Street store, to enjoy the experience and discover the new collection in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. We have a masculine yet elegant approach consistently throughout our brand, and have tried to reflect this message through the architectural and design elements of the building.”
With its redbrick façade and larch arch windows, the corner-positioned, listed Duke Street building does encapsulate that warm Ami vibe. Then there’s the interior: very-Parisian parquet flooring, yellow tiled accents, exposed white brick walls, marble, brass and mirrors. All together it creates a luxe optical illusion across the two floors, while massive fittings rooms upstairs and down cap it all off. “For men, I think it all happens in the fitting room,” Mattiussi explains of the need for try-on breathing space.
As for the future, he’s taking one thing at a time.“The journey is often as important as the destination, so we want to live and enjoy this special moment. We always keep our ears to the ground and have lots of projects in the pipeline so watch this space!”
AMI Mayfair, 75 Duke Street, London W1K 5PA