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French men’s wear designer Alexandre Mattiussi will launch in the U.S. this fall with a push from Barneys New York. The retailer begins selling the collection in 10 doors this month, in addition to its Web site.
This story first appeared in the September 20, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Barneys chief executive officer Mark Lee, creative director Dennis Freedman and fashion director Amanda Brooks will host a party today with Mattiussi in the Madison Avenue flagship, followed by a dinner at Le Bilboquet.
“AMI is targeted for a guy looking for modern classics,” said Tom Kalenderian, general merchandise manager for men’s at Barneys.
Barneys New York is the exclusive retailer for the label in the U.S., which is called AMI Alexandre Mattiussi, apart from The Webster in Miami and Mrporter.com. Barneys is merchandising the collection — which emphasizes wearable staples — in the Co-op department of its Barneys stores as well as in the freestanding Co-op doors.
“I wanted to make a collection that was easygoing, chic and comfortable, without being pretentious. I don’t overthink the clothes,” said Mattiussi. “It’s very easy to make an expensive collection and find the best fabrics and the best production. It’s harder to make a collection in a smart way that’s affordable.”
Mattiussi’s tailored jackets retail for $695, pants for $295 to $375, jeans for $260, shirts for $225 to $285, knitwear for $380 to $555, outerwear for $560 to $740 and a leather jacket for $1,200.
Flannel is a key signature in the line for fall. The legs of jeans are lined in a thin layer of soft flannel, wool sweaters are adorned with flannel elbow patches and the undercollar of a jean jacket is trimmed with the fabric. A mixed-media cardigan is fashioned from flannel with knit wool sleeves.
A small footwear line accompanies the collection, including leather lace-up oxfords and ankle boots with a slender strap detail and crepe soles.
Globally, AMI Alexandre Mattiussi is launching at about 30 stores this fall, including Le Bon Marché in France and 10 Corso Como in Milan and Seoul, and will expand to more than 40 doors in the spring, including Printemps in France and Lane Crawford in Hong Kong.
Mattiussi, 31, was born and raised in Normandy, France and moved to Paris to attend design school at Duperré. At 21, he secured a position at Dior Homme as an assistant on the 30 Montaigne line of classic men’s pieces. He later launched his own collection of shirts before taking a position at Givenchy from 2004 to 2008 as an assistant designer for men’s wear, working for a time under Riccardo Tisci. He then worked for two seasons as a senior men’s designer for Marc Jacobs, traveling between New York and Europe, before leaving to start AMI Alexandre Mattiussi with a group of about 10 individual investors.