Amiri Spring 2021 Menswear

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Amiri Spring 2021 Menswear

On a dreary October afternoon in Paris, hours from the start of a corona curfew that will last at least four weeks, watching the Amiri spring 2021 film created a particular longing for the (relative) ease of pre-pandemic travel. Shot on a supremely sunny day outside the Sheats-Goldstein residence—a gleaming, modern architectural landmark with stunning views of Los Angeles—this on-location runway show transmitted the brand’s laid-back, aspirational vibe, not only through the clothes but also the music (overseen by producer The Alchemist) and casting. If Mike Amiri was unable to bring his menswear to Paris back in July, he was now giving us an escape to L.A., where his growing brand is based.

Call it the fashion equivalent of home-court advantage. Even before the Lakers won the nba championship earlier in the week, Amiri had injected the collection with elevated basketball references, notably the athletic shorts in either cashmere or supple leather that had been edge painted like a luxury handbag. He swapped the Saint Laurent–style boots so omnipresent in past seasons for a basketball-inspired sneaker and imagined a mini basketball-shaped bag that we’ll call a man-audière.

More generally, this relaxed lineup came across as one that could be easily remixed in ways that would please customers and retailers alike. Soft in the shoulder and longer in length, suit jackets competed with jean jackets, varsity blousons, and motorcycle styles for MVP (most valuable piece), while dungarees and jumpsuits—short and long, in faded denim or leather—were the season’s statement items. “Number one, it’s about being comfortable, but it’s also an homage to the art culture in L.A.,” he said by Zoom. “We’re in the arts district—we dress like this a lot.”

“The foundation has always kind of been basic California—that lifestyle is something that I know really well,” he continued, wearing a top embroidered with the brand’s Bones M.A. logo (which appears inspired by both the New York Yankees’ and Marie Antoinette’s monogram). If this well-executed sampling has contributed to the brand’s enthusiastic and diverse following, Amiri also continues to hold the brand to a high standard; the leather craftsmanship transferred through the screen, for instance. And for every insider-y reference (the Hawaiian and cannabis motifs nodded to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), he remains attached to a certain European flair—those bouclé suits and Dior-esque ensembles.

Since 75% of the collection was locally produced this season, Amiri said he needed to consider a more “concise” offer. Logistics notwithstanding, this also explains his decision to show outside any standard fashion calendar. “This moment in time allowed us to experiment a little,” he said. “I always wondered how it would feel to present a collection and deliver six to eight weeks later.”

The show’s breathtaking setting, meanwhile, conveyed a level of cachet that he may not have achieved in Paris. Anyone familiar with the residence might have noticed that the rooftop tennis court was temporarily converted into a minimalist basketball court, which Amiri proposed to homeowner James Goldstein, whose dedication to attending Paris Fashion Weeks is second only to his dedication to basketball games. Apparently, the businessman, who is usually mistaken for a grizzled rocker, obliged, telling Amiri that someone else already had the idea before him. That someone: Lebron James.

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