Where Do Rock Stars Get Their Clothes – LOS ANGELES – On a slightly seedy strip of Sunset Boulevard, behind and up the stairs from a Thai restaurant (Quentin Tarantino’s favorite) with faded rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia and strange psychedelic trappings, a one-room studio. .
Mr. Amiri is the founder and designer of Amiri, probably the most popular men’s luxury brand you’ve never heard of. Mr. Amir doesn’t give many interviews, and he hasn’t earned the cult obsession of most hipbeasts, the streetwear devotees who gather in the corner of the menswear discussion on the Internet.
Where Do Rock Stars Get Their Clothes
His clothes—worn jeans, biker jackets, worn-out flannels, and anything baggy, distressed, leopard-print or glitter-dusted—have earned a following among NBA and NFL swag-seeking rockets (DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall, Brandon Ingram, Odell Beckham, Jr.), but his biggest fans may be the retailers who sell his clothes even in challenging retail times. Many of his clothes.
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“This has become one of the biggest businesses in men’s ready-to-wear,” said Jay Bell, senior vice president of men’s ready-to-wear at Barneys New York. “That doesn’t happen often.”
In just three years in business, Mr. Amiri grew from $40 million in sales in 2018, according to the company.
“We have fun very quickly,” Mr. Bell said. “It’s growing faster than the current business in my design matrix. It’s phenomenal, it really is.”
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Mr. Amir no longer works at Sunset, although the old studio — now more or less one table, one baking chair — is a reminder of days gone by. In fact, he said, on a hot day in mid-December, as he heard silverware coming from the kitchen of the restaurant upstairs, he quickly left and moved to a studio in Koreatown. In six months, it has grown and moved to the city center. Soon, we were on the road, negotiating Los Angeles traffic in Mr. Amir’s new Mercedes G-Class. This month, it has moved back into a 30,000-square-foot complex that will house a design studio, showroom, digital studio for e-commerce and, for kicks and good measure, a basketball court.
Designs from Amiri’s Fall 2018 collection will be shown in Paris. Credit… Brad Torchia for The New York Times
Mr. Amir, 41, grew up in Hollywood, the son of an Iranian immigrant who turned his antique rug business into a real estate investment, enough to rent an apartment in Beverly Hills so that Mr. Amir and one of his brothers could afford it. Go to Beverly Hills High School on the right side of the track. (Mr. Amiri recalls being an outsider there, skipping classes and smoking cigarettes with classmates like Angelina Jolie.) But his sensibility was formed along the Sunset Strip in the 1990s, the era of hard rock and the debauchery of the Viper Room.
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“The heroes who come from Hollywood are the people you will see here,” Mr. Amiri said. “The guy in the jacket, the flannel, the long hair, the polka dot shirt with the leopard print. That’s cool to me. To other people, he’s like a fire.”
That sensibility, some 30 years later, still dictates Amir’s face, which is as beautiful as it screams. Mr. Amir’s first collection was built on jeans, shirts and shirts decorated with guns – clothes that could not be mistaken for distress. It is based on vintage items that Mr. Amir began his career by exploring flea markets and reinterpreting.
“For people with more money than time, you don’t have to dig into a bowl of rosé every weekend,” says Will Welch, creative director of GQ. “This is the vintage grail you want to find.”
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Here they are more brilliant and fun. Mr. Amiri has a free hand with the decorations and loves the treats – hoodies, flannels, etc. As rock gods turn their amps up to 11, so does he. A note on the jeans in the studio read: “Requires destruction.”
Jeans like these are a big part of Amir’s business and are a cornerstone. Mr. Amir idolized Hedi Slimane, a fellow Angeleno (if adopted) and rock obsessive who helped pioneer luxury denim designer Dior Homme in the early Aughts. Mr. Amir’s self-designed pairs are generally leather-tight, sleek and supple, and can cost $1,000 or more.
Men don’t like stretch, but Mr. Amir knows that stretch fabric is more comfortable for people who live, party, sleep and wake up in jeans, and people with a 34-inch waist don’t care. It fits in at 32. (Mr. Amiri introduced a women’s collection in 2017, and while men still account for 75 percent of sales, women are on the rise.)
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Amir’s brashness is in stark contrast to some of the luxury brands currently competing, which tend to appeal to the new and intellectualize their approach. Such is Mr. Slimane’s design for Saint Laurent, whose passion revolves around Mr. Amir’s collection. (Mr. Slimane left Saint Laurent in 2016, leaving a grunge-shaped hole in the market.) At Paris Fashion Week, where Mr. Amir will make his first presentation on Jan. 19, the line will never look the same. More established luxury homes are popping up next door.
“It’s easy to come from Los Angeles and think what you’re doing is great,” he said. “But a lot of what you do can be vulgar. You have to understand, it might not be cool globally.” He admits the importance of balancing the collection between roughness and sophistication, even if the scales slightly tip towards the former.
“People, at least in Los Angeles, dress like that,” said Sarah Stewart, director of buying for Maxfield in Los Angeles, who was Mr. Amir’s first client and carried the line exclusively for the first year. Last year, Mr. Amiri opened a six-week pop-up space at Maxfield, where he sold $275,000 worth of clothes in the first three hours.
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Although rock musicians have worn his clothes – an early client Steven Tyler – Mr. Amir is one of the few designers, such as Virgil Abloh of Off-White and Jerry Lorenzo of Fear of God, who have reinterpreted rock as hip. -In the hop era, some cues from rock (tight jeans) and some from hip-hop (oversized shirts and jackets Mr. Amir wears on top).
“It’s interesting to me because rock and roll never dies,” Mr. Welch said. But everyone wants to be as rich as Kurt Cobain.
Mr. Amir doesn’t like to think that he only designs for rock stars. “I like it when someone comes to see me and they’re a dentist,” he said. Someone came to Melrose not too long ago. “He said, ‘Well, I like your jeans, I wear them at the weekend,'” Mr Amiri said. “It makes me feel like I’m in high school.”
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It’s good to take back memories of school days that die hard. Mr. Amir has his own. Browsing the racks for the Paris show, he found a leather jacket featuring Kiefer Sutherland as a young vampire in The Lost Boys (1987). Billingborough Primary School uses the Times Tables Rock Star teaching scheme. And the new interim director Fran Reeder, who only took over in January, was inspired to organize Rockstar Day, inviting everyone to turn it up to 11 and dress up in the best rock star outfit for £1. Minimum donation.
Miss Reeder said: “We need to do something fun for the children and make them laugh because we all know it has been very difficult for them at school over the last few years to raise funds to pay their annual fees. Subscribe to the Rock Stars plan and other resources.
“Rock music is a way to express ourselves and show that kids don’t have to conform and can express their individuality and celebrate diversity.”
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The children were also asked to design a Bluetooth microphone, which was then judged. One of the care staff brought a drum kit and guitar to do an afternoon music session with the students and one staff member could hear the drumming and encourage the class to join in with We Will Rock You.
Miss Reeder has been at the school since she joined as a trainee in 2007 and says everyone is really working hard. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Non-original material may be challenged and removed. Find sources: “Heavy Metal Fashion” – News · Newspapers · Books · Scholars · JSTOR (December 2007) (Learn how and how to remove this template message)
Judas Priest, dressed in heavy metal stage attire, performed on VH1 Rock
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