PARIS — Ami is presenting its fall collection digitally with a video on March 11, shortly after the Paris Fashion Week calendar. It is a temporary move for technical and creative reasons.
“I never thought I’d be making such an announcement — me, the fervent defender of the live show — but we’re always adapting, although I’m not changing my overall approach, or my opinion,” laughed Alexandre Mattiussi, detailing the plans through a Zoom call with WWD.
“Technically, we realized we wouldn’t manage to make the dates,” he said, referring to the ready-to-wear Paris fashion week calendar, which is set to wrap up on March 9. Mattiussi emphasized that the brand remains a committed member of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, which has supported him from the start — his first presentation on the Paris fashion week calendar was 10 years ago.
“They’ve been there from the very first day,” he said, rattling off key figures from the Fédération — Pascal Morand, Ralph Toledano and, before his retirement, Didier Grumbach.
“It’s an important collection,” said Mattiussi, noting the 10-year mark. Not that he’s reading too much into the milestone — his lucky number is 9. “I’ve matured, my taste has been fine-tuned, with regards to materials, colors, proportions — it’s getting better,” he said.
While it was clear the label would not be ready to produce a fashion show for the men’s calendar in January, there was hope for a possible show in March, he noted. “In the end, it merits being filmed and I’d like to give myself time to film it, document it well. It’s a bit like a documentary,” he said.
The label will present the collection officially through a video, filmed five or six days prior to the showing, in a closed-door session in Paris, respecting the city’s strict coronavirus restrictions.
“We hope to have a more normal fashion week in the future — even if this period will have a lasting effect — I have to say it, as surprising as it may feel, there are very good sides to the digital universe,” said Mattiussi.
While fashion shows remain the key event for designers, he noted that the digital realm has broadened access to the events. “Before it was exclusively professional, and many who were interested but were outside this circle, had to wait patiently to see things come out in the press, which itself was already filtered — now it’s for everyone at the same time. I find this fantastic, it redistributes the cards, and allows everyone to give their opinions,” he said.
Furthermore, the digital medium calls for a different approach, added the designer. “The digital realm forces us to push our messages further — which suits me, I’ve always liked this — toward cinematography,” he said.
“I always made sure that my fashion shows told a story, that the collections tell a story — even if, from the first day, it’s been the same — my collections are not necessarily themed but I continue to build on this notion of wardrobe, that Ami is a wardrobe for everyone, a man, a woman from 17 to 77 years old — the beautiful coat, the right shirt, the right sweater, right trousers,” he explained. “I always take this idea and insert it into an often very Parisian universe, in a bit of a theatrical way, with decor that I love building,” he said.
“This show will not be out of step — it has a narrative, it’s very poetic, with good vibes,” he continued. “It’s a very colorful collection, very lively — it’s my favorite collection,” he added, noting it was drawn up after a lockdown period, when his teams were happy to work together again.
“We are lucky to be able to do this metier, in these conditions,” said Mattiussi, who said he felt very free with a solid team and extra support from a new investor, noting the arrival of recent investor Sequoia China Capital. The presentation will be at 2:30 CET.