AMI has always been creating wearable and effortless garments imbued with a touch of Parisian chic. That unpretentious simplicity is treasured by ardent fans of the brand, for its unwavering attitude and approach to design, especially amidst an ethos of flashy maximalism in the current fashion sphere. Being donned in AMI feels like you are nestling in your cosy Parisian pod on a Saturday evening, while the world comes to a standstill as you submerge yourself into a state of nonchalance. There is an evocation of something exceedingly homely and relaxing, and that is the quality that AMI—which means 'friend' in French—exudes that sets it apart from its Parisian peers.
Translating that sensibility into a collaboration, AMI has partnered with German sportswear label Puma to create an athleisure collection. A mix of both bold and neutral colours, coupled with a creative fusion of the two brands' logos, the collection is playful and luxe. A youthful exuberance revolves around the collaboration, accentuated by style stars Romeo Beckham and Mia Regan's involvement in the campaign.
AMI's Founder and creative director Alexandre Mattiussi tells us more about what transpired behind the scenes of this creative partnership, and the decision to cast the young celebrity couple as the faces of the campaign.
ESQUIRE: How has it been working with Puma?
ALEXANDRE MATTIUSSI: Everything we have done has been a dream. It’s always great to work with people that are passionate, kind, and easy to work with. I feel very grateful for the relationship we are building together. I felt at ease from the very first conversations with Puma. Collaborating can sometimes be tricky because we all have our own ways of working on fashion and product, but it felt like we were on the same page and shared the same energy.
ESQ: Tell us a little bit about your past and your history. How did you get your start?
MATTIUSI: I was born and raised in the countryside, in Normandy, France. Surrounded by fields and cows, I had a very nice childhood, and have always been very creative. I have been completely supported by my family from day one and that really drove me until the moment I came to Paris when I was 18 years old, and I felt like fashion could be something I would enjoy doing. Meeting creative people and trying to project myself into this industry was a dream.
ESQ: What led you to creating AMI the brand?
MATTIUSI: I used to work for other brands—Dior, Givenchy, and Marc Jacobs. I had the best experience and learned so much there, yet I felt, at the same time, kind of disconnected from them, the products, the design, the garments. Approaching my 30s, I really felt I was ready to launch my own brand and that I had enough experience to be able to do it by myself. I asked myself, what is the perfect wardrobe, the clothes I want to wear every day, the ones I want to see my friends wearing? I wanted to create a classic wardrobe with a twist, trying to make it very sophisticated without being pretentious and trying to get a good price and quality. It was very humbling at the beginning—I was by myself but was constantly surrounded and supported by the people I love.
ESQ: Why is the brand called AMI?
MATTIUSI: The brand is called AMI because of the letters of my name, Alexandre Mattiussi, and because AMI means ‘friend’ in French. The approach was very friendly from the start and has worked well since day one.
ESQ: You talk a lot about your friends and family. Tell us more about why they are so important to you.
MATTIUSI: Family means everything to me—my parents, my brother, friends that are like family, including my team. I always talk about my friends and family because these are the people that I feel happier around with. I take lots of pleasure having them with me for the journey. This is a job I could do by myself but they bring me so much creatively and have inspired me since day one. I always refer to them to stay connected to a certain level of reality. Family is the best, right?
ESQ: You talk a lot about the idea of family and friends as you tell your story. Are you seeing some of the shared values when you work with Puma? Is that something that helps to guide the collaboration?
MATTIUSI: I do believe that Puma and AMI share the same values—the collaboration has a very authentic and genuine approach. We wanted to get some nice pieces, something that I want to wear, something that is easy to wear—this is the same way I design for AMI. I like that this collaboration is accessible; sometimes fashion can be disconnected. For the inspiration, I had in mind the silhouettes and the people, the fraternity and friendship altogether. I like the idea that when you see a piece of clothing, you don't need it to sing too much—you have a colour, a texture, a shape, a logo. For this collaboration the execution of the two logos together is magic.
ESQ: What drew you to Romeo and Mia as the faces of the campaign?
MATTIUSI: What I love the most about them is that they are young and in love. It's something very beautiful to see in person, you can see it through their social media as well. They have a very charming way of showing their love to the world and I feel they embody very well the spirit of the collection and the spirit of AMI and Puma. We all can relate to this moment in life—being young, falling in love. I feel the energy at this moment of life is fantastic and that's why the reality of the collection goes very well with the reality of the pure love they are experiencing right now.
ESQ: Who do you think is the ideal consumer for your collection with Puma?
MATTIUSI: I'm designing this collection for everybody. I really approached the collection the same way I approach my collections for AMI. I didn't make a difference because it's a sport line or collaboration. I did it the same way I design for myself, something I would wear. I like the idea that these are pieces you could mix with your own wardrobe. I wish to see everything from kids with sweatshirts to someone in a more sophisticated outfit with pieces from the collection. I hope that we will get to see lots of people wearing this collaboration.
ESQ: Any final words on the collection with Puma?
MATTIUSI: I'm very proud of the way we mixed the logos together. I think that the result is very impactful and that while this is a gift for us at AMI, it's a gift for Puma too. This is something we share; this is what we call friendship. It is a very honest collaboration—not trying too hard, not pretentious. It’s like a pain au chocolat or a croissant. You see it, it’s nice, it's not super expensive, but has a good colour and a good fit. You want to wear right away–it's just fun. I feel that this is where clothes need to stay, at a level which is a very simple pleasure. We have a nice collaboration with two brands people love.
The Puma x AMI collection is now available on Puma.com, PUMA SELECT at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Chamber, and TANGS.