Second edition of the Amiri Prize invites international applicants
Mike Amiri / ©Photo: Jiro Schneider

Second edition of the Amiri Prize invites international applicants

June 12, 2023
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American fashion designer of Iranian descent Mike Amiri continues his commitment to fostering emerging fashion talent with the rollout of the Amiri Prize’s second edition.

The Amiri Prize was initiated in 2021 as an annual reward and incubation initiative designed to uplift and spotlight emerging American fashion talent. However, in a significant move this year, the opportunity has been extended to international designers. The lucky winner is set to receive a $100,000 grant and the unique chance for a year-long mentorship with Mike Amiri, based in Los Angeles.

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Lou Badger, the Philadelphia-based brand founder who won the first prize, has greatly benefitted from this initiative. The brand is known for its gender-neutral embellished designs, intricately crafted from recycled materials. “The Amiri Prize serves as an extraordinary platform for designers with nontraditional backgrounds to accentuate their work, delve deeper into their craft, and connect with the exceptional team at Amiri“, Badger shared. “Since I won the prize, my creative journey has been smoother and more purposeful. The experience has equipped me with technical know-how and profound understanding of the fashion industry“.

Amiri, who personally funds the award, also assembles an expert jury panel to select the recipient. The panel for this year boasts notable names such as June Ambrose, creative director and designer for Puma; designer Salehe Bembury; KidSuper founder and creative director Colm Dillane; image architect Law Roach; A-Cold-Wall founder and creative director Samuel Ross; GQ’s 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. Their collective expertise is expected to ensure a well-rounded evaluation process.

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Reflecting on his journey that began in 2014 with little resources and industry connections, Amiri highlights the importance of giving back to the industry that shaped him. He feels a sense of obligation that comes with his success and believes that a more inclusive industry would offer more opportunities, benefiting all stakeholders. The Amiri Prize, he asserts, is intended to support fledgling brands at a crucial juncture when the industry is undergoing a significant transformation.

The inaugural Amiri Prize, launched amidst the pandemic, saw a unique outpouring of creativity, with applicants demonstrating not just talent but also a distinct vision. Lou Badger, the first winner, encapsulated a commitment to sustainability and community involvement.
Amiri places immense importance on the role of the jury in the success of the project.

Applicants for the Amiri Prize don’t need a formal fashion education but should have a clear brand vision. Applications are open until July 14th, and the winner will be announced in early October after a selection process involving Zoom meetings with the judges.

In addition to the grant and the mentorship opportunity, the winner will receive global publicity from Amiri and through the Amiri social channels. Mike Amiri, in launching the program, stated his intent as always being about aiding young creatives who often find themselves lost in the intricate fashion system.

Through the Amiri Prize, Mike Amiri continues to demonstrate his devotion to helping young designers flourish, thereby fostering the future generation of the fashion industry.

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