Portrait of Mike Amiri. Courtesy.
The LA-based brand has announced today that it is launching an annual prize for emerging American design talent. The Amiri Prize is open to US residents with a ready-to-wear business that is no more than three years of age. The first prize will include $100,000 and a year-long mentorship by Amiri founder and creative director Mike Amiri.
Amiri, whose namesake brand draws inspiration from LA’s counterculture scenes, established the programme with the aim of lowering the barriers to entry and help underrepresented designers break into fashion, a historically exclusive and nepotistic industry. The winner of the inaugural 2021 Amiri Prize will be selected by a panel that includes Amiri, Diesel and Y/Project creative director Glenn Martens, OTB president Renzo Rosso, celebrity stylist Karla Welch, product designer Salehe Bembury, Union Los Angeles owner Chris Gibbs and Harper’s Bazaar digital director Nikki Ogunnaike.
“As an independent designer, I have had the privilege to forge an unconventional path and find success outside of the current establishment,” Amiri said in a statement. “With this success must also come the acknowledgment that there is a clear discrepancy of opportunity within the traditional fashion system. The Amiri Prize is tailored to young designers who are often overlooked and to help provide opportunity, knowledge and resources to create a foundation for success.”