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Who is Giorgio Armani?

Giorgio Armani is a towering figure in fashion, synonymous with timeless elegance and luxury. His Italian brand has redefined tailoring with its sleek, unstructured suits, becoming a staple in sophisticated wardrobes worldwide. Beyond clothing, Armani's empire extends to fragrances, home decor, and even hotels, embodying a lifestyle of understated glamour. How has Armani's vision shaped modern fashion? Explore his enduring legacy with us.
Garry Crystal
Garry Crystal

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 was born in Piacenza, Italy.
Giorgio Armani was born in Piacenza, Italy.

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.

Armani was among the first designers to get his clothing into major Hollywood films during the 1980s.
Armani was among the first designers to get his clothing into major Hollywood films during the 1980s.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Giorgio Armani and why is he famous?

Giorgio Armani is an esteemed Italian fashion designer, renowned for pioneering red-carpet fashion and for his clean, tailored lines. He gained fame for his menswear innovations and for introducing a softened, unstructured men's suit that revolutionized the fashion industry. Armani's brand has expanded to include cosmetics, accessories, eyewear, watches, and home interiors, making him a pivotal figure in the fashion world. His influence extends beyond fashion, as he's also known for his contributions to the arts and various humanitarian causes.

What are some of the key milestones in Giorgio Armani's career?

Giorgio Armani's career is marked by several key milestones. In 1975, he founded his own company, Armani, with his friend Sergio Galeotti. The introduction of the unstructured jacket in the early 1980s was a significant innovation that set his designs apart. Armani became the first designer to ban models with a body mass index under 18, after the death of model Ana Carolina Reston in 2006. He has also been recognized for his contributions to cinema, designing costumes for over 200 films, including "American Gigolo" and "The Untouchables."

How has Giorgio Armani's work influenced the fashion industry?

Giorgio Armani's work has had a profound influence on the fashion industry, particularly in the realm of menswear. His introduction of the unstructured suit jacket made waves for its relaxed yet elegant silhouette, which contrasted sharply with the stiff, formal suits of the time. This innovation not only changed men's fashion but also paved the way for a more modern and versatile approach to professional attire. Armani's minimalist aesthetic and emphasis on comfort and natural lines have become hallmarks of contemporary design.

What is the global reach of the Armani brand, and how has it diversified?

The Armani brand has a vast global reach, with a presence in over 60 countries. It has diversified far beyond its original menswear line to include women's wear, children's clothes, swimwear, and accessories. Armani has also ventured into the luxury hotel and resort space with the Armani Hotel collection, featuring locations in Dubai and Milan. Additionally, the brand has expanded into the beauty and home decor sectors, offering a wide range of products from makeup to furniture, reflecting Armani's signature aesthetic.

What philanthropic efforts is Giorgio Armani known for?

Giorgio Armani is known for his philanthropic efforts, particularly in the realm of disaster relief and disease prevention. He has supported various causes through his Acqua for Life campaign, which focuses on providing access to clean water in communities suffering from water scarcity. Armani has also been involved in fundraising for AIDS research and has made significant contributions to UNICEF. His commitment to social issues is an integral part of his legacy, demonstrating a dedication to making a positive impact beyond the fashion industry.

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Discussion Comments

SarahGen

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.

donasmrs

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.

ZipLine

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.

anon945291

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

minoff

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

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    • Giorgio Armani was born in Piacenza, Italy.
      By: Bibanesi
      Giorgio Armani was born in Piacenza, Italy.
    • Armani was among the first designers to get his clothing into major Hollywood films during the 1980s.
      By: Andrew Bayda
      Armani was among the first designers to get his clothing into major Hollywood films during the 1980s.