Giorgio Armani is a luxury fashion house designing and retailing haute couture, ready to wear, leather goods, shoes, watches, cosmetics, eyewear, jewellery and home accessories. The House is considered to be one of the biggest fashion groups in Italy, only behind Prada.
Giorgio was born on 11 July 1934 in a town called Piacenza, Italy. After dropping out of medicine study, he took a position as a Merchandiser at a department store where he became interested in fashion. Following on from this, Giorgio worked for fashion designer Nino Cerruti where he was encouraged to also work as a freelance designer for a variety of companies.
The First Collection
Giorgio Armani S.p.A. was founded in 1975 with the company’s first men’s clothing line collection launching that year. In 1976 a women’s collection was debuted to a warm reception. The designs were revolutionary for the time, featuring a more natural fit and subtle colour palettes. Giorgio was quoted in WWD as saying ‘My vision was clear: I believed in getting rid of the artifice of clothing. I believed in neutral colors.’
The Signature Style
Giorgio’s designs became popular in Europe and America followed later in 1980. His designs were worn on several films and television series and it was not long before his outfits were pioneering fashion on the red carpet with actors including John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jodie Foster wearing his designs.
The ‘Power Suit’ became the symbol of success in the 1980’s and demand for the style became high. The business grew and the company was able to open stores in Milan.
Giorgio is credited with several innovations within the industry including;
Being the first fashion designer to ban models from working for the corporation who had a Body Mass Index of less than 18. This was prompted following the tragic death of model Ana Carolina Reston in 2006. Ana died from Anorexia Nervosa weighing just 88lbs with a body mass index (BMI) of 14.1, well below the World Health Organisations index value of 16.
On 24 January 2004 Giorgio broadcast his Armani Prrive Spring/Summer 2007 fashion show live on the internet via wMSN and Cingular cell phones. This was the first haute couture collection to be broadcast live online.
Not content with the success of his fashion house, Giorgio started to expand his business by opening up his first restaurant in 1996 in Paris, France. He also spent time buying clothing manufacturers and other businesses.
Giogio’s first experience with perfumes was in 1981 where he released Giorgio by Giorgio Beverley Hills, however the first branded perfume was released a year later. This was the first of many successful perfumes to be released under the label with the first fragrance for men being launched in 1984.
Hotels and Interior Design
Joining with Emarr Properties PJSC in 2005 a contract was signed for Emarr to build and manage seven luxurious hotels and holiday resorts with Giorgio responsible for all aspects of interior design of the hotels.
On April 27 2010, in Burj Khalifa, the Armani Hotel opened its doors. The hotel comprised of the bottom 39 floors of the Dubai skyscraper boasting 160 guest rooms and suites as well as an impressive 144 residences.
Not stopping at fashion and hotels, Emporio Armani Caffè compilations were launched, a special compilation of CDs by Giorgio and Italian DJ-Sound Designer Matteo Ceccarinin. The compilations offered a variety of sounds and underground rhythms.
Being a keen sports fan and following the professional football team, Inter Milan, Giorgio stepped out into the world of sport and became the president of the Olimpia Milano basketball team.
Combining his love of fashion and sport, Giorgio has designed suits for the English National Football Team as well as working for Chelsea Football Club since August 2007 designing suits for the players. Chelsea Football Club also commissioned Giorgio to redesign its Directors’ Suite at Stamford Bridge.
Continuing with the sport theme Armani had the honour of designing the Italian flag bearer’s outfits for the opening ceremony of the Turin Winter Olympics in 2006 as well as Italy’s Olympic uniforms for the London 2012 Summer Olympics.
Moving into the world of motor sport, Giorgio Armani agreed a sponsorship deal as on official supplier to Scuderia Ferrari where he will provide outfits for official and travel engagements for members of the team in return for exposure of the brand as well as association with the most popular motorsport team.