Bonjour to Ami in Mayfair

Elegant, affordable French attire has arrived on Duke Street with the opening of Ami’s first London store

“Ami builds on the heritage of luxury I owe to having worked at houses like Marc Jacobs, Dior and Givenchy,” Mattiussi explains, “but at heart it is about friends enjoying the clothes they wear. It has a light-hearted feel – we can’t change the world but we can change people’s lives. Recently someone stopped me in the street to say thank you, because he’d worn an Ami suit on his wedding day. I love the feeling of building a global community.”

Seasonal staples

The collection – primarily in a palette of red, white and blue, although there are touches of olive, pink, lemon and grey, as well as classic black – includes all the elements you need to put together a weekend wardrobe. There are chunky knits; jumpers and sweatshirts with a retro, sport-inspired vibe; denim in black, indigo, acid wash, pinstripe and white; and classic white leather sneakers. For on-duty days, you’ll find elegant suits, shoes and even laptop and tablet sleeves that will work as hard as you do. We couldn’t resist asking Mattiussi which piece he is most proud of.

“I love my signature red beanie,” he says. “I always wear one myself and it has become my trademark. But I love my classic raincoat, too – it’s an iconic London piece.”

If you’re looking for fast-fashion pieces that will disappear off the sartorial radar as quickly as they appeared, Ami is not for you. The brand is all about enduring, easy-to-wear garments you’ll find yourself reaching for season after season.

“It’s not about being fashionable,” Mattiussi says. “These are investment pieces, with good proportions, good colour, good fabric – they’re clothes you’ll be proud to own.”

The Duke Street opening is the latest stage in a journey that has seen Ami grow from a single Paris store in 2011 to a global presence today, with stores in Tokyo and now London.

“London and Londoners have their own personality and culture,” Mattiussi says. “The popular culture here is international – it holds a special attraction for designers, more even than Paris. But then there’s still the great British eccentricity, which I got to love when I was younger. I’m very proud to be here.”

Alexandre Mattiussi’s London store is now open. Visit 75 Duke Street to browse his latest collection.