Amiri Prize Winner To Receive $100,00 Cash Prize And 1-Year Mentorship With Mike Amiri
Amiri has announced that Philadelphia-based NaaAmerley Badger, founder of the brand Paulo Redeem, is the recipient of the first ever Amiri Prize. Badger was chosen from three finalists by Amiri founder Mike Amiri and a prestigious panel of contemporary visionaries and entrepreneurs. The honor comes with a cash prize $100,000, and a year-long mentorship with Amiri.
Badger’s designs follow the circular model, creating imaginative and embellished custom designs crafted from upcycled materials. With Paulo Redeem, Badger seeks to address the lack of black representation in sustainable fashion and draw attention to the environmental impact of the industry-at-large by challenging the perceived value of newness.
NaaAmerley presented a very strong vision with an artistic approach that complements her commitment to sustainability and her community. Shining a light on her talent, values, and integrity reflect my motivation for creating The Amiri Prize. We look forward to supporting her and following the development of her brand.
– Mike Amiri, Amiri Creative Director
The AMIRI Prize was established this year as an annual fashion incubator, to inspire undiscovered American fashion talent by offering a support system outside the current establishment. With this endeavor, AMIRI hopes to nurture fashion creatives and entrepreneurs who have not had the means for education or the privilege of connections. The Prize was open to American residents whose ready-to-wear business is one year, but no older than three years, old.
“I want to catch a designer at a specific point in their career, that’s not so early that they are just starting from scratch, or so late that they are already set in their ways,” said Amiri. “Businesses in general are in their infancy in the first five years, and after the first two years you are just reaching that hump, and I remember those pain points.”
Amiri funded the annual award and incubator program himself, calling on a diverse panel of notable fashion people and entrepreneurs to judge entrants. The Prize judges are retailer Chris Gibbs, owner of the streetwear store Union Los Angeles; designer Glenn Martens, creative director of Diesel and Y/Project; stylist Karla Welch, founder of x Karla and The Period Company; journalist Nikki Ogunnaike, digital director of Harper’s Bazaar; Renzo Rosso, Amiri investor and president of OTB; product designer Salehe Bembury, founder of footwear brand Spunge, who has worked on footwear for the likes of Versace and Yeezy; and Mike Amiri himself.
The Amiri Prize Jury
AMIRI thanked everyone who applied for the prize, including the two other finalists Ayama and Victor Li – and Badger expressed his own words of gratitude.
It is a great honor and privilege to be awarded the winner of the first AMIRI Prize. I feel grateful for so much: the opportunity to bring my vision to fruition with the support of Mike Amiri and Amiri, the thoughtful feedback I received from an iconic jury, and the future that inclusive and transparent fashion incubators like this one will help to cultivate. My path has been unconventional, and I am a complete outsider in the fashion industry. In my past experiences, these two factors closed doors, but I am excited to begin a new journey where they are elevated as strengths in service of my purpose.
– NaaAmerley L. Badger, Creative Director Paulo Redeem
Paulo Redeem Captured by Aaron Ricketts, Dominique Nichole, & Marcus Branch
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