Armani was born in the northern Italian town of Piacenza, where he was raised with older brother Sergio and younger sister Rosanna by his mother Maria Raimondi and father Ugo Armani. Armani aspired to a career in medicine after reading A. J. Cronin's The Citadel, and enrolled in the Department of Medicine at the University of Milan. In 1953, after three years he broke off his studies, and joined the army, because of his medical studies, he was promoted and transferred to an infirmary in Verona. After experiencing hospital life and occasional evenings at the Arena in Verona, he decided to find a different career.
After his stint in the armed forces, Armani found a job as a window dresser at La Rinascente, a department store in Milan. 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 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 S.p.A. 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.
Jacket and trousers, 1990
This evening ensemble consists of black chiffon and organza trousers and a jacket lined with white chiffon with sequinned detail on the jacket. It was designed by Georgio Armani in Milan in 1990
Top and skirt, 1990
Printed silk two-piece evening dress with ruffled skirt and spaghetti-strap bodice. Blue-on-pale yellow printed silk spaghetti-strap top and ankle length skirt almost completely covered in massed self-ruffles with scalloped edges.
Trouser suit, 1990
Evening trouser suit consisting of a Nehru style jacket in black net over printed silk, and black and white printed silk trousers entirely covered in clear square sequins.
Evening dress, fall/winter 1994–95
Evening ensemble, fall/winter 1995–96
Jumpsuit, fall/winter 2002–3
Giorgio Armani exemplifies the words simplicity and luxury. Known for his easy lines, he introduces interest in design by introducing fine textiles and subtle embellishment that doesn't appear fussy. His design influence coming from his impeccably tailored suits for men, Armani's women's designs also reflect the designer's unstructured style. This simple Armani jumpsuit looks like a gown, but the many panels that form the bottom puddle where it is bifurcated, to form a harem-style fashion. The result looks draped, when it is in fact a magnificently tailored garment. The one shouldered bodice, along with the addition of a shawl draped at the same shoulder creates a classically inspired design scheme.
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 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 (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 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 at the "Corrida Goyesca" in Ronda, 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, 1 Giorgio Armani Accessori, and 13 Armani Junior stores spread over 37 different countries.
Armani was the first designer to ban models with a body mass index (BMI) under 18, after model Ana Carolina Reston starved herself to death due to anorexia nervosa.
Armani broadcast his collection live on the Internet, the first in the world of haute couture, on 24 January 2007. The Armani Privé Spring/Summer 2007 fashion show was broadcast via MSN and Cingular cellular phones.
After LG teamed with Prada to introduce the LG Prada phone, Samsung joined Armani to design the Giorgio Armani phone.
Armani designed made-to-measure suits for Christian Bale's character Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight. 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.
Armani has designed many stage outfits for pop superstar Lady Gaga, including those worn on her record breaking Monster Ball Tour and Born This Way Ball Tour. And to many high-profile award shows, such as the 52nd Grammy Awards and the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.
Giorgio Armani has a keen interest in sports. He is the president of the Olimpia Milano basketball team, and an Inter Milan fan. He has twice designed suits for the England national football team. He has since designed suits worn by players of the London club Chelsea since August 2007. He designed the Italian flag bearers' outfits at the opening ceremony at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, and also designed Italy's Olympic uniforms for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Armani also designed and introduced the EA7 range, a brand inspired by Ukrainian footballer Andriy Shevchenko, 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.
Giorgio Armani: Empire of the Senses by John Potvin
Hardcover: 410 pages
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Limited; New edition edition (January 31, 2013)
Amazon: Giorgio Armani: Empire of the Senses
Exploring 35 years of creative output, this richly illustrated book offers an unprecedented look into Giorgio Armani s unique aesthetic, corporate and cultural strategies. More than any other designer, Armani best represents the global success of the Made in Italy label. His impact is palpable not simply in women s fashion and red carpet glamour, but is also inseparable from the evolution of the menswear industry. Written in a lively and accessible style, the book includes thoughtful and provocative chapters exploring: the evolution of the man s suit; boutique culture in a global reality; the influence of Orientalism; the designer s ambivalent relationship with the fashion press; the business of vertical branding; the use of the evening dress to construct the house s history; power dressing for the modern woman; the relationship between textiles, film and the contours of masculinity; the continued dialogue with early twentieth-century aesthetics; as well as the spaces and bodies of the theatre of fashion. The first holistic and critical investigation of one of the most influential fashion houses in the world, Giorgio Armani: Empire of the Senses is a must read for anyone interested in the history and theories of fashion.
More Fashion Designers at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Art
This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3721841.html. If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.