We sit down with Michael Amini, designer, CEO and “man behind the brand,” to talk about his early days, his successful collaborations, and what’s next for his luxury furnishings company.
AD360: What inspired you to start your own company?
MA: I have always strived to do things on my own. I left home at an early age to study and travel the world. That experience prepared me for independence and inspired my entrepreneurial side. I imported fashion shoes and even spent time importing luxury cars.
There was a long road that led to starting my company and ultimately the Michael Amini brand. It really evolved as a result of my life experiences. My parents’ guidance, my aunt introducing me to the fashion world of fabric and getting me to model children’s clothing, my travels to Europe, and my mom’s insistence on getting a good education and always being well dressed all led to an interest in home furnishings as fashion. In a nutshell, I started as a salesman with a furniture wholesaler and soon traveled to Italy and other overseas locations to source product on my own. I eventually began to import my own product and founded the Amini Innovation Corp., selling occasional tables at small regional trade shows.
AD360: What do you find most fulfilling about designing?
MA: I believe that your design aesthetic is the culmination of who you are, how you think, and the way you live and that design is an expression of your inner thoughts. Seeing something in raw form like an architectural element and translating it to a usable functional product is very rewarding.
AD360: What has been the biggest source of inspiration for your beautiful designs and how has that come to life in your collections?
MA: Travel. People and places worldwide offer an expression all thier own. There are so many unique places, each with a different personality and design aesthetic. Whether it be Rome or Hollywood, the world offers so many canvases for a hungry artist.
AD360: You are at the forefront of the Hollywood Glamour trend. What inspired your vision and how has this influenced the furniture industry?
MA: I would say that I have always had a passion for glamour. I also enjoy the nuances of old Hollywood. When I met Jane Seymour, it seemed natural to develop products that inspired this genre.
AD360: Let’s talk about your design collaboration with Ms. Seymour. What do you think has made these furniture collections so successful?
MA: I think the chemistry between us is really the key to its success. We have a lot in common and share a passion for glamour and while my designs incorporated the “BLING” factor, Jane’s Hollywood lifestyle inspired the direction for the line. At over seven years running, the collaboration is among the most successful in the industry. The styling, while a WOW factor at launch, really offers timeless styling and offers consumers a dream to be a part of that Hollywood lifestyle.
AD360: You are moving beyond furniture and delving into other designs and licensing partnerships. Why the expansion?
MA: I believe it is important for a brand to offer a customer the complete lifestyle. A furniture collection is enhanced when it is presented in an environment that ties the complete room to the product. When you dress the entire home, you address an entire lifestyle. I also believe the importance of brand expansion is critical to our growth in other fashion industries. It is our goal for the brand to represent jewelry, fragrance, and accessories as well. In terms of licensing, the fact that other companies have identified our brand as powerful enough to launch their product just goes to show we are moving in the right direction with the consumers recognizing who we are.
AD360: Tell us a little bit about the other designs that are coming up for your company.
MA: While there is still an emphasis on old-world traditional, we have focused on lifestyle. Our Studio collection of smaller-scale urban living has become a big part of our product line. Contemporary and modern styles are important to younger audiences and we have several collections that fulfill that need. We continue to expand and grow the Hollywood Glam and Regency style categories, which reflect our dedication to designs that reflect many important lifestyle elements for every taste level.
For a look at more great designs from Michael Amini, visit amini.com