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Who is Giorgio Armani?

By Garry Crystal
Updated May 23, 2024
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Giorgio Armani is one of the world's most famous fashion designers. Born in Piacenza, Italy on 11 July 1934, he originally intended to become a doctor. After studying medicine at the University of Bologna, he decided that the medical life was not for him. He found that he had an aversion to the sight of blood. He then stepped into the fashion business by becoming a window dresser in a large clothing store.

With his photographic background and a keen eye for detail, it was not long before Giorgio Armani became a clothes buyer for the store. The next step up for the young man was his role as assistant designer for the well-known fashion designer Nino Cerutti. He soon began working for other major fashion labels, such as Zenga and Ungaro.

Giorgio Armani took fashion design very seriously and soon decided it was time to go independent. By 1975, he and his partner Sergio Galeotti had formed a men's clothing line, and in 1976, he branched out into women's fashion. Using the sale of a car to finance his company, he developed his own fashion label. The Armani name was to become world famous, along with its silver eagle icon.

Whereas other Italian fashion designers of the time were sometimes overly flamboyant in their designs, Giorgio Armani's clothing was classic and understated. He is famous for soft, unstructured jackets and flawless suits that can be worn on any occasion, not just on Oscar night. His small company soon became a billion dollar industry, and the name Giorgio Armani became known the world over.

Armani was one of the first designers to get his creations into major Hollywood films in the 1980s. His clothing line clad actors such as Richard Gere in American Gigolo and the entire cast of the film The Untouchables. In the films in which his clothes have been used, he has always been credited in the opening or closing titles.

Giorgio Armani is now, without doubt, one of the most successful designers in the world. He has around 2,000 stores worldwide, and his annual sales are in the billions of dollars arena. Apart from Christian Dior, he is the only fashion designer in the world to have appeared on the cover of Time magazine.

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Discussion Comments
By SarahGen — On Dec 17, 2014

Armani does both custom-made clothing, as well as ready-to-wear. The disappointing aspect is that even the ready-to-wear Armani lines are very, very expensive. I realize that part of the reason why this brand is exclusive is that it's very high quality and expensive. But it only serves the very top of the upper class. Most of us will not own even a single Armani garment our whole lives. I wish these kinds of brands also had more affordable lines for people who love the brand but can't even come near it because of the prices.

By donasmrs — On Dec 16, 2014

Giorgio Armani also sells perfume now. I'm not sure when he went into perfume but I purchased one of his perfumes for my mom as a gift a few years ago. He does make very good quality perfumes. My mom loved it and used every last bit.

I guess as a big fashion icon and a brand that dominates in the world of high-end clothing, it's not really necessary for Giorgio Armani to also make perfume. But then, there is no reason not to. And as far as I can see, the perfumes are just as popular as the clothing line.

By ZipLine — On Dec 15, 2014

I had no idea that Giorgio Armani was born in the 1930s. I thought he was younger than that! I also had no idea that he had studied to be a doctor. Thanks for this information. I'm a huge fan of him and his brand. I hope to be a fashion designer one day and he is a great role model. I really like how he went after his passion and used his skills and training to develop his clothing line. He is such an inspiration.

By anon945291 — On Apr 12, 2014

Yes, Armani has a direct division where you can buy their products.

By minoff — On Jun 22, 2009

Does Armani have a direct sales division where the clothes are sold in private homes or stores as trunk shows?

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