HISTORY OF GIORGIO ARMANI
HISTORY OF GIORGIO ARMANI
Although many True Fashionista fashion designers hail from Italy, Giorgio Armani is perhaps the most influential and well-known for his signature style of relaxed luxurious ready-to-wear lines and elegant, intricately woven evening wear, a collection of which can be found at True Fashionistas consignment store, Naples.
HISTORY OF GIORGIO ARMANI – EARLY LIFE
Born July 11, 1934 in Piacenza, Italy, Armani served in the military then attended medical school. He made a career decision halfway through, however, leaving in 1964 to pursue a career in fashion initially as a buyer for Milan-based department store La Rinascente. After seven years soaking in the industry from this position, he jumped into design and began training in the atelier of luxury Italian menswear designer Nino Cerruti.
In 1975, Armani set out on his own with friend and business partner Sergio Galeotti, launching first his menswear label and then a year later a womenswear collection. His clothes were innovative for the time, introducing a more natural fit and subtle color palette of neutrals.
Armani later explained his vision to Women’s Wear Daily, "I believed in getting rid of the artifice of clothing. I believed in neutral colors.”
HISTORY OF GIORGIO ARMANI – DISCOVERED BY THE U.S.
While he was well received in Europe, Armani didn’t break into the American market until 1980 when Richard Gere wore his True Fashionista designs to perfection in the movie American Gigolo. His stateside popularity continued to grow as characters on TV’s Miami Vice also sported his “power suits”, as they came to be known, their sleeves shoved confidently back to the elbows.
Armani also became a favorite among Hollywood actresses who increasingly favored his trademark evening gowns for the red carpet at Academy Awards ceremonies, power names like Michelle Pfeiffer and Jodie Foster included.
Armani’s gowns were the launch of his popularity in womenswear. The Italian designer then transformed the wardrobes of professional women in the 1980s, taking them out of floral skirts and putting them into True Fashionista, deconstructed pantsuits in elegant colors. He continually increased his offerings over the years, introducing perfume, accessories, a jeans line, sportswear and explored both ends of haute couture with the lower-priced Emporio Armani line as well as a limited-edition line of handmade couture dresses.
HISTORY OF GIORGIO ARMANI – THE EMPIRE EXPANDS
The year 1985 dealt both a personal and professional blow to Armani when he lost friend and business partner Galeotti to AIDS. He showed the world, however, that he more determined than ever to succeed. In 1989 he opened his first restaurant, and also purchased shares in other businesses. Not even legal troubles could slow down Armani's momentum. In 1996 he received only a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to bribing Italian tax officials in 1989 and 1990. By the late 1990’s Armani had over 200 stores worldwide.
Armani’s world continued to expand over the years into a range of adventures beyond clothing. In 2002 he was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He designed the uniforms for the Italian flag-bearers participating in the 2006 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony, as well as other uniforms for professional athletic teams including England’s Chelsea Football Club and Australia’s Rabbitohs.
In 2007 Armani partnered with the electronics giant Samsung to create a luxury LCD television and cellular phone as part of an expansion of his consumer lifestyle product line. That same year his Armani Privé spring/summer-collection fashion show was broadcast worldwide via Microsoft Corporation’s MSN Web portal as well as Cingular cell phones, making him the first clothing designer to broadcast an haute couture fashion show live on the Internet. Then in 2010 he opened his first hotel in Dubai, a 5-star luxury offering, followed by a second in Milan.
HISTORY OF GIORGIO ARMANI – POST-COVID MUSINGS
In the post-pandemic world of 2021, Armani at 86 now understands that there is much he wants to change both in the industry as well as the direction and management of his own company. In a recent Vogue interview, Armani recalls how he was the first major designer to shut down the catwalks during Milan Fashion Week in February ’20. He donated millions of dollars to Italian hospitals, made single-use overalls in Armani’s Italian production plants and turned the gym of his corporate Armani village outside of Milan’s center into a testing facility.
He’s also now rethinking his approach to neutrals, as evidenced by the appearance of colors in Armani Privé as a declaration of life after COVID. His niece asserted, “It was like, enough. There is a need for some joy.”
Enjoy a nice taste of the Armani clothing collection and purses available via designer handbag consignment at True Fashionistas, Naples’ best consignment store. Shop in-store, online, or our eBay shop.