Initiated by Los Angeles designer Mike Amiri in 2021, the Amiri Prize has made a striking comeback this year, shedding light on promising talents spanning the globe. This initiative was birthed from Amiri‘s recognition of the hurdles young creatives face, reminiscent of his own early struggles in carving a niche in the fashion domain.
The Amiri Prize took a hiatus in 2022 but made a return in 2023, extending its reach globally to welcome applications from innovative fashion minds across the continents. This marked a significant evolution, transforming the award into a global platform for identifying and elevating nascent talents.
The designer and his team recently revealed the names of nine exceptionally talented finalists, each one competing for the substantial prize of $100,000 and an invaluable year-long mentorship. The finalists, hailing from the corners of the globe including Abdel El Tayeb of France; Dorian Rahimzadeh of Iran; Ekwerike Chukwuma of Nigeria; Grace Ling, Keith Herron and Maxwell Osborne of the United States, Lukhanyo Midingi of South Africa, and Li Gong and Luke Zhou of China, will await the winner’s announcement on October 23rd.
Mike Amiri, renowned for his bespoke creations for iconic rock ‘n’ roll artists, birthed the Amiri Prize from a place of empathy and recognition of the often insurmountable barriers young artists face. His narrative, defined by self-belief and tenacity in the absence of industry connections and financial backing, serves as a testament to the attainability of success against the odds.
In its inaugural year, the Amiri Prize celebrated the artistry and innovation of Lou Badger, a Philadelphia-based designer. Badger’s distinctive approach and unwavering dedication to diversifying the sustainable fashion arena earned her this esteemed recognition. “Since the day I won the prize until now, I’ve had the opportunity to develop my creative ideas with more ease and greater intention,” Badger said. “My journey has allowed me to cultivate technical expertise and understand the fashion industry at a higher level.”
Amiri, not only the brainchild but also the sole financier of this initiative, collaborates with a distinguished jury of fashion connoisseurs to select a deserving winner each year. The 2023 panel is graced by the likes of June Ambrose, Creative director and designer for Puma; designer Salehe Bembury; KidSuper founder and Creative director Colm Dillane; stylist Law Roach; A-COLD-WALL* founder and Creative director Samuel Ross; GQ global editorial director Will Welch; Vogue fashion editor at large Gabriella Karefa-Johnson; Lucia Liu, stylist and founder of theBallroom, and Rocco Liu, editorial director of GQ China. Each a prominent figure contributing a wealth of expertise and perspective to the selection process.