The son of Iranian immigrants, Mike Amiri Pusa was born in Beverly Hills, California in 1976. As a teenager, he was heavily influenced by the rockstars of his childhood—bands like Guns N’ Roses and Mötley Crüe—and the distressed clothes they wore.
Mike Amiri’s path to success as a fashion designer was an unusual one. The Amiri brand’s story begins with its founder’s involvement with Korean hip hop group, Drunken Tiger. The group was one of the first Korean hip hop acts to achieve commercial success, which opened the door for future K-pop acts who have since gone on to become global phenomena. These successes would later play an essential role in spreading the vision of Amiri.
Following this period, Amiri came back to the US and became a design consultant for various brands in Los Angeles where he learned the ins and outs of the business. In 2014, he felt the need to branch out and flex his creative muscles with a passion project. Starting out in the basement of a restaurant in Los Angeles with a pattern cutter he met via a classified ad, Amiri began to make clothing and post pictures of it on Instagram. The caption of one of his earliest posts reads “Just making this for no reason at all. No sales, no editors, no stores in mind. I just want to make something special.”
After making enough clothing to fill a rack, Amiri realized he had a store in mind: Maxfield. The legendary L.A. boutique, known for carrying designers from all over the world was exactly where Amiri hoped to position his brand. After a brief meeting with the store’s buyer, he was in. As the brand began to take off, fan favorites became signature items within the shop.
The fabric that tells the story of Amiri best is denim. As California’s ties to denim are well known, Amiri made it a point to bring the denim production back to its original home. The MX1 jeans are individually measured, cut and patched with details like hand pleated patches, similar to those found on motorcycle pants. The Track Jeans are treated with similar care, and the stripes running along the side helped the brand capitalize on the “side stripe” trend while staying true to its denim roots. The Bandana Buckle Boots are a clear example of exactly how much of an impact ’80s rock bands had on Amiri.
The brand’s rockstar look soon attracted the attention of actual rockstars (and pop stars and rappers). It wasn’t long before Justin Bieber, Kanye West and K-pop band BTS, were seen in Amiri. Amiri experienced a full circle moment when he was chosen to outfit Guns N’ Roses for tour.
Although Amiri has said he doesn’t seek the approval of fashion’s old guard, it came in the form of a CFDA nomination all the same. With the business growing and sales numbers steadily increasing, it will be interesting to see what the already accomplished Amiri will achieve in the coming years.
Who owns Amiri?
Amiri is independently owned by Mike Amiri Pusa.
When was Amiri founded?
Amiri was founded in 2014.
Where are Amiri jeans made?
Amiri jeans are made in Los Angeles, California.