Giorgio Armani was born on July 11th, 1934 in Piacenza, Italy. He grew up wanting to become a doctor but the sight of blood put a crook in that needle and so he turned his sights to fashion. He was hired to work in fashion and visual merchandising with the largest Italian department store at the time, La Rinescente, in Milan, Italy. He then migrated into design and worked as an assistant under Nino Cerruti. As an assistant for 6 years he knew that he wanted to make his own mark in the fickle but fantasy laden world of fashion and with $10k (which he acquired by selling his Volkswagen) he and partner, Sergio Galeotti, founded his own ready-to-wear line of men’s clothing. One year later he launched the women’s RTW line.
From bare bones to $1billion in yearly sales, Giorgio became a fashion icon. He came from a war-torn childhood of being awoken in the middle of the night to hide in the bomb shelter under their home. His childhood home was bombed and destroyed and it was very difficult for his father to provide for the family. Armani gives credit to his mother for being the reason he went into fashion. “She always ensured that my brother, sister and I were immaculately dressed. She was herself and innately elegant woman. In memory of her I named my yacht ‘Mariu’, which is the southern Italian dialect for Maria.”
But what took Giorgio Armani to superstardom? Yes, he had a wonderful philosophy and talent. His prose that clothes are not a decoration but meant to make a person feel confident and comfortable was and still is an intimate liaison for his customers, but what was that something more? In the 1980’s Armani began to recognize the platform of marketing through movies. He secured the wardrobe design for Richard Gere in the “American Gigolo” film. A film that not only launched Richard Gere into the heaven’s but brought Armani’s name into everyone’s kitchen (and on their screen).
Today, he is emperor of over 2000 stores worldwide and his empire consists of sub-brands such as; Emporio Armani, Armani Jeans, Perfume, Occhiali (eyewear), A/X Armani Exchange, golf, swimwear, underwear, & accessories.
He remains dedicated to his belief that to create exceptionally one must preen their eyes to the smallest of details. His most poignant quote to date, “remain true to yourself and your philosophy. Changing in the face of adversity will in fact diminish your credibility” has noticeably been a rabbit’s foot in his pocket.
Featured below is Emporio Armani 2012 SPRING photographed by Alasdair McLellan in Hong Kong. Classic, Powerful, Confident, and Comfortable.