Amiri Fall 2021 Menswear Collection

On a typical Amiri runway, you might see looks styled to be so reminiscent of

On a typical Amiri runway, you might see looks styled to be so reminiscent of the rock stars and jet-setters that helped kick off Mike Amiri’s career, you would have to do a double take. That ability to translate the spirit of Keith or Axl into clothing for the common guy is what has helped turn the California designer into one of American fashion’s recent success stories. Despite our pandemic year, Amiri is thriving, his business is growing, and he has just launched a prize for young American designers—so you might be surprised to learn about his new source of inspiration: meditation.

He admits to his newfound practice a little sheepishly over a Zoom call. The guy who once thrived on the adrenaline of airplanes and Paris Fashion Week and going out is now taking time for mental resets. Looking inward took Amiri back to the early days of his brand in downtown Los Angeles. He waxes poetic about the environment—a little dodgy, a little gritty—that shaped his aesthetic, and pays homage to it with a loose, layered silhouette and an un-precious clash of patterns and styles. The billiards prints that appear on grungy cardigans and silk camp shirts are a reference to the only thing open when Amiri would sign off work around 2 a.m. Worn by a contemporary cast of L.A. dudes in a video by Cara Stricker, this Amiri collection is the strongest yet.

Of course, to fashionable eyes, the vision might not seem totally unique. When I ask Amiri about bringing a version of American style—slouchy suits, high-low styling, rakish Cali flair—abroad, he deflects, making a point about our global world. Still, it’s hard to miss the effect L.A. and its denizens are having on runways. Beanies, white sunnies, and straight-leg jeans are popular at Paris and Milan’s fashion weeks, styled with the same irreverence of the Amiri guy. That’s just what happens when a particular brand’s vibe comes into style. For many seasons, Amiri tried to rise to meet his European peers; turns out it would be them trying to crib his look. All the more reason he should stick to it moving forward.