PARIS — For its first fashion show outside of France, AMI is headed to Shanghai. Signaling a fresh Asian thrust for the brand, the show will be held on Oct. 12, preceded by pop-up stores in Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu, which will open on Oct. 1.
“We’re heading into our ninth year and the number nine is a lucky number for me so we decided to celebrate this anniversary rather than the 10th,” Alexandre Mattiussi, AMI creative director, told WWD.
Mattiussi, who showed his label’s first collection in January 2011, said the label has a certain resonance in Asia.
“It’s a French designer at an affordable price point,” is how chief executive officer Nicolas Santi-Weil described the label’s positioning. Mattiussi started the label because “he loved beautiful things but he felt a little disconnected with reality because all the garments he was designing were sold at a price point that he could not afford himself,” said Santi-Weil, recalling the designer’s days at Givenchy.
“AMI is appreciated in Asia because it’s a Parisian postcard,” said Mattiussi. At the same time, he said he might make small adjustments, like changing a fabric or a certain color.
“We continue the story we started in Europe, it’s uninterrupted, the story is the same even if there are things we adapt — perhaps the tone of conversation, or colors or materials, to make it more complete, but it’s the same,” he added.
“I always tried to do an international wardrobe,” he said.
“When I first imagined my brand from my apartment, I couldn’t have imagined that one day I would be able to open stores in China,” he recalled.
“It’s a great story, with lots of love, patience — we’re taking our time, even if it seems things are going fast,” he added.
“It’s a young brand…we try to have global strength and not just focus on the trends,” of one place or another, said Santi-Weil.
“Instead of opening 20 stores in France, we opened one store in France, then we opened one in London, one in Tokyo,” said Santi-Weil. Stores in Hong Kong, Beijing and Chengdu followed.
“Each market is a key driver for AMI’s development,” he added.
“We’ve always been quite intuitive, bizarrely we haven’t made too many mistakes,” said Mattiussi.
Runway shows are important events to express the spirit of the label, he added.
“It’s the best place to tell the story of a collection, I always do fashion shows that are quite narrative, with themes that are very Parisian, like the roofs of Paris that I built two years ago, or more recently, the Eiffel Tower.”
The spring collection will be “extremely Parisian” in his view, with some 30 exclusive pieces, part of a see-now-buy-now collection drawn up with Swarovski.
It will be a sort of nocturnal version of his June show, which was shown in the evening, and with the touch of different stylists and more events.
The show, which is being organized with the help of events company Obo, will be livestreamed through the brand’s site on social networks as well as the label’s e-commerce platforms on Tmall and WeChat.
AMI will follow up the Shanghai show by presenting its women’s fall 2019 collection to customers in Seoul on Oct. 17, and in Tokyo on Oct. 18, with a party in Tokyo during fashion week.
In Paris, the label will have a pop-up space at Montaigne Market for the women’s fall collection.