Giorgio Armani
Overview
 
Giorgio Armani (ˈdʒordʒo arˈmaːni; born 11 July 1934) is an Italian fashion designer, particularly noted for his menswear. He is known today for his clean, tailored lines. He formed his company, Armani, in 1975, and by 2001 was acclaimed as the most successful designer to come out of Italy, with an annual turnover of $1.6 billion and a personal fortune of $7 billion as of 2011.
He was born in the northern Italian town of Piacenza
Piacenza
Piacenza is a city and comune in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Piacenza...

, where he was raised with two other siblings along with his mother and father.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
Giorgio Armani (ˈdʒordʒo arˈmaːni; born 11 July 1934) is an Italian fashion designer, particularly noted for his menswear. He is known today for his clean, tailored lines. He formed his company, Armani, in 1975, and by 2001 was acclaimed as the most successful designer to come out of Italy, with an annual turnover of $1.6 billion and a personal fortune of $7 billion as of 2011.

Early years

He was born in the northern Italian town of Piacenza
Piacenza
Piacenza is a city and comune in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Piacenza...

, where he was raised with two other siblings along with his mother and father. Armani aspired to a career in medicine after reading A. J. Cronin
A. J. Cronin
Archibald Joseph Cronin was a Scottish physician and novelist. His best-known works are Hatter's Castle, The Stars Look Down, The Citadel, The Keys of the Kingdom and The Green Years, all of which were adapted to film. He also created the Dr...

's The Citadel
The Citadel (novel)
The Citadel is a novel by A. J. Cronin, first published in 1937, which was groundbreaking with its treatment of the contentious theme of medical ethics. It is credited with laying the foundation in Great Britain for the introduction of the NHS a decade later...

, and enrolled at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. In 1953, after two years of studies, he was called to military service, which included working in a military hospital. The experience convinced him that he was not cut out to be a doctor.

Design career

After his stint in the armed forces Armani found a job as a window dresser at La Rinascente
La Rinascente
La Rinascente is a Thai owned Italian retailer operating upscale department stores in the area of clothing, household and beauty products, founded in Milan in 1865 by Luigi and Ferdinando Bocconi....

, a department store in Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

. He went on to become a seller for the menswear department, in which capacity he gained valuable experience in the marketing aspect of the fashion industry.
In the mid-1960s, Armani moved to the Nino Cerruti
Nino Cerruti
Nino Cerruti is an Italian businessman and stylist, among the most famous in the world.He founded his own haute couture house Cerruti in 1967 in Paris...

 company, for which he designed menswear. His skills were in demand, and for the next decade, while continuing to work for Cerutti, Armani also freelanced, contributing designs to as many as ten manufacturers at a time.
In the late 1960s, Armani met Sergio Galeotti, an architectural draftsman, which marked the beginning of a personal and professional relationship that lasted for many years. In 1973 Galeotti persuaded him to open a design office in Milan, at 37 corso Venezia. This led to a period of extensive collaboration, during which Armani worked as a freelance designer for a number of fashion houses, including Allegri, Bagutta, Hilton, Sicons, Gibò, Montedoro, and Tendresse. The international press was quick to acknowledge Armani's importance following the runway shows at the Sala Bianca in the Pitti Palace in Florence. The experience provided Armani with an opportunity to develop his own style in new ways. He was now ready to devote his energy to his own label, and in 1975 he founded Giorgio Armani Spa in Milan with his friend Galeotti. In October of that same year he presented his first collection of men's ready-to-wear for Spring and Summer 1976 under his own name. He also produced a women's line for the same season.

Armani established an innovative relationship with industry, characterized by the 1978 agreement with Gruppo Finanzario Tessile (GFT), which made it possible to produce luxury ready-to-wear in a manufacturing environment under the attentive supervision of the company's designer. In 1979, after founding the Giorgio Armani Corporation, Armani began producing for the United States and introduced the Mani line for men and women. The label became one of the leading names in international fashion with the introduction of several new product lines, including G. A. Le Collezioni, Giorgio Armani Underwear and Swimwear, and Giorgio Armani Accessories. In the early 1980s the company signed an important agreement with L'Oréal
L'Oréal
The L'Oréal Group is the world's largest cosmetics and beauty company. With its registered office in Paris and head office in the Paris suburb of Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, France, it has developed activities in the field of cosmetics...

 to create perfumes and introduced the Armani Junior, Armani Jeans, and Emporio Armani lines, followed in 1982 by the introduction of Emporio Underwear, Swimwear, and Accessories. A new store was opened in Milan for the Emporio line, followed by the first Giorgio Armani boutique. Armani's concern for the end user culminated in the development of a more youthful product with the same level of stylistic quality as his high-end line, but at a more accessible price.
Because of the democratic nature of the Emporio line, Armani felt that he had to make use of new and unconventional advertising methods. These included television spots and enormous street ads, together with a house magazine that was sent out by mail to consumers, faithful Armani Eagle wearers. Armani also felt that a relationship with the cinema was essential, both for promotional reasons and for the stimulus to creativity. He designed the costumes for American Gigolo
American Gigolo
American Gigolo is a 1980 crime drama film, written and directed by Paul Schrader. It is informally considered the second installment in his "lonely man" trilogy, following the Martin Scorsese directed Taxi Driver and preceding Light Sleeper .-Plot:Julian Kaye is a male prostitute in Los Angeles...

(1980), the success of which led to a long-term collaboration with the world of film. Armani designed costumes for more than one hundred films, one of the most important of which was The Untouchables (1987).

In 1983 the designer modified his agreement with GFT. They began to produce both the Mani line for the United States and his high-end ready-to-wear line, rechristened Borgonuovo 21, after the address of the company's headquarters. During the late 1980s, despite Galeotti's death (1985), Armani continued to expand commercial horizons and licensing agreements. He opened Armani Japan and introduced a line of eyeglasses (1988), socks (1987), a gift collection (1989), and a new "basic" men's and women's line for America known as A/X Armani Exchange (1991). After the frenetic expansion of the 1990s (sportswear, watches, eyeglasses, cosmetics, home, and new accessories collections), 2000, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the brand, saw a flurry of investment activity, including stock sales and the acquisition of new manufacturing capacity intended to increase Armani's control over the quality and distribution of his products.

Armani's men's and women's skiwear and ski casualwear line was developed in 1995. His 1991 project, A/X: Armani Exchange, represented Armani's attempt to break into the American mass market, offering lower prices for the relaxed chic clothes. He also prepared to break in the Chinese market by opening up his first store in that country in 1998. The small shop in Beijing was followed by a flagship store in Shanghai in 2004 and plans for 40 by 2011. In 2000, Giorgio Armani SpA was introducing new lines of cosmetics and home furnishings, and expanding its line of accessories. At the same time, the Guggenheim Museum
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is a well-known museum located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, United States. It is the permanent home to a renowned collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art and also features special exhibitions...

 in New York hosted an exhibition of Armani's work, a first for a living designer. With average attendance of 29,000 a week, the show featured Armani's eveningwear for women, which although one of the designer's strong areas, was not even his main interest.

In 2008 Armani designed the bullfighting costume, called the "Goyesco", worn by Spanish bullfighter Cayetano Rivera Ordóñez
Cayetano Rivera Ordóñez
Cayetano Rivera Ordóñez, is a Spanish matador.-Early years:Rivera is the son of Francisco Rivera 'Paquirri' and Carmen Ordóñez along with his elder brother, the matador Francisco Rivera Ordóñez...

 at the "Corrida Goyesca" in Ronda
Ronda
Ronda is a city in Spanish province of Málaga. It is located about West from the city of Málaga, within the autonomous community of Andalusia. Its population is approximately 35,000 inhabitants.-History:...

, Spain. They have also collaborated on several fashion shows and other events.

As of 2009, Armani has a retail network of 60 Giorgio Armani boutiques, 11 Collezioni, 122 Emporio Armani, 94 A/X Armani exchange, 13 Armani Junior, and 1 Giorgio Armani Accessori spread over 37 different countries.

Innovations

Armani was the first designer to ban models with a body mass index
Body mass index
The body mass index , or Quetelet index, is a heuristic proxy for human body fat based on an individual's weight and height. BMI does not actually measure the percentage of body fat. It was invented between 1830 and 1850 by the Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet during the course of developing...

 (BMI) under 18, after model Ana Carolina Reston
Ana Carolina Reston
Ana Carolina Reston Macan was a Brazilian fashion model.Reston was born to a middle-class family in Jundiaí, on the outskirts of São Paulo, Brazil. At the age of 13, she began her modeling career after winning a local beauty contest in her hometown...

 starved herself to death due to anorexia nervosa
Anorexia nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by refusal to maintain a healthy body weight and an obsessive fear of gaining weight. Although commonly called "anorexia", that term on its own denotes any symptomatic loss of appetite and is not strictly accurate...

.

Armani broadcast his collection live on the Internet, a first in the world of haute couture, on 24 January 2007. The Armani Privé Spring/Summer 2007 fashion show was broadcast via MSN
MSN
MSN is a collection of Internet sites and services provided by Microsoft. The Microsoft Network debuted as an online service and Internet service provider on August 24, 1995, to coincide with the release of the Windows 95 operating system.The range of services offered by MSN has changed since its...

 and Cingular cellular phones.

After LG
LG Group
LG Corp. is the second-largest South Korean conglomerate company following Samsung, and it is headquartered in the LG Twin Towers in Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul. LG produces electronics, chemicals, and telecommunications products and operates subsidiaries like LG Electronics, LG Display,...

 teamed with Prada
Prada
Prada S.p.A. is an Italian fashion label specializing in luxury goods for men and women , founded by Mario Prada.-Foundations:...

 to introduce the LG Prada phone
LG Prada (KE850)
The LG KE850, also known as the LG Prada, is a touchscreen mobile phone made by LG Electronics. It was first announced on December 12, 2006. Images of the device appeared on websites such as Engadget Mobile on December 15, 2006. An official press release showing an image of the device appeared on...

, Samsung
Samsung Group
The Samsung Group is a South Korean multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul, South Korea...

 joined Armani to design the Giorgio Armani phone
Samsung SGH-P520
The Samsung SGH-P520 is the successor to the Samsung SGH-P310, classified by Samsung as a "card-phone". It has a touch-screen interface similar to that of the LG Viewty....

.

Armani designed made-to-measure suits for Christian Bale's
Christian Bale
Christian Charles Philip Bale is an English actor. Best known for his roles in American films, Bale has starred in both big budget Hollywood films and the smaller projects from independent producers and art houses....

 character Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight (film)
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is part of Nolan's Batman film series and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins...

. Advertisements featuring "Giorgio Armani for Bruce Wayne" were released in 2008 with pictures of Christian Bale wearing Armani suits. However, Bale later claimed in a GQ interview that the campaign was produced without his permission.

Sport

Giorgio Armani has a keen interest in sports. He is the president of the Olimpia Milano
Olimpia Milano
Olimpia Milano is a Lega Basket Italian professional basketball team, based in Milan, Italy, founded in 1936 by Milan businessman Adolfo Bogoncelli. Its colors are red and white, and the team is sometimes referred as "Scarpette Rosse" because team officials imported from the United States red...

 basketball team, Inter Milan fan, and has twice designed suits for the England national football team. He has since designed suits worn by players of the London club Chelsea
Chelsea F.C.
Chelsea Football Club are an English football club based in West London. Founded in 1905, they play in the Premier League and have spent most of their history in the top tier of English football. Chelsea have been English champions four times, FA Cup winners six times and League Cup winners four...

 since August 2007. He designed the Italian flag bearers' outfits at the opening ceremony at the 2006 Winter Olympics
2006 Winter Olympics
The 2006 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XX Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in Turin, Italy from February 10, 2006, through February 26, 2006. This marked the second time Italy hosted the Olympic Winter Games, the first being the VII Olympic Winter...

 in Turin
Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

 and has been chosen to design Italy's Olympic uniforms for the 2012 Summer Olympics
2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the "London 2012 Olympic Games", are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012...

 in London. Armani also designed and introduced the EA7 range, a brand inspired by Ukrainian
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 footballer Andriy Shevchenko
Andriy Shevchenko
Andriy Mykolayovych Shevchenko is a Ukrainian footballer who plays for Dynamo Kyiv and the Ukraine national team as a striker. He is the third-highest scorer in the history of European club competition with 67 goals as of 2011-03-10, behind Filippo Inzaghi and Raúl. With 175 goals scored with A.C...

, who at the time played for A.C. Milan and wore the number 7 jersey.

The Chelsea Football Club has commissioned Armani to create a new look for its Directors' Suite at Stamford Bridge. To be called the "Armani Lounge," the dining room and lounge area serves as the principal meeting place on matchdays for the Chelsea Board of Directors and for the entertainment of VIP guests. In total the "Armani Lounge" covers 200 square metres for which Giorgio Armani has personally designed a unique concept featuring furnishings from his Armani/Casa home interiors collection.

External links

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