Amiri appoints new CEO, replacing founder

Amiri appoints new CEO, replacing founder 

Carlo Scarpato /

The Los Angeles-based brand has appointed former Burberry exec Adrian Ward-Rees to steer its next phase of growth. 

The founder of Los Angeles-based Amiri is handing over the reins to a new CEO. Adrian Ward-Rees, former senior vice president at Burberry, will join on 1 April.

UK-born Ward-Rees started his career in fashion as a buyer and merchandiser at Selfridges in the mid 1990s. He moved on to Nike and Speedo before taking up a position at Burberry as merchandising director in 2007. Senior roles at Lane Crawford Joyce Group and Dior Homme followed, before he rejoined Burberry in 2020.

“Adrian has strong and holistic expertise in all facets of the business,” said Mike Amiri, who has served as chief creative officer and CEO of Amiri since founding the brand in 2014, in a statement. “His thoughtful insight within the luxury sector combined with a modern approach made him the best candidate to drive the continued growth at Amiri.”

Founder and creative director Mike Amiri with incoming CEO Adrian Ward-Rees. Photo: Courtesy of Amiri

The brand, known for its Gen Z resonance and embrace of LA culture, has experienced speedy growth in recent years, making its mark on the global luxury market. Italy’s OTB took a minority stake in the business in 2019 and, in early 2022, Amiri opened its first store in China through the group’s new “Brand Hub”. Amiri’s Autumn/Winter 2023 menswear collection was well received by buyers during Paris Fashion Week in January.

The decision to appoint a new CEO was taken partly to enable Amiri to focus more on his creative director role, which, he said, he’s had to balance with the CEO role from the beginning.

“Mike has built an incredible brand with a real connection to youth culture and modern luxury,” Ward-Rees said in the release. “I look forward to growing the business further, building its retail presence and the categories in careful alignment with the Amiri universe.”

This article was originally published on Vogue Business.

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