The Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani is a fashion icon who is well known for his menswear. Armani has expanded to include hotels and restaurants in his vast empire. Famous for his crisp, clean and tailored menswear lines, Armani is recognized as the most successful designer Italy has ever produced.
Armani was born on 11th July 1934 in the town of Piacenza, Italy. Born in a humble family, he faced a tough time which was shadowed with aftermaths of the Second World War. Armani wanted to pursue a career in medicine so he enrolled in the University of Milan however in 1953 left his studies to enlist in the army. After he experienced the life in hospitals in Verona, Armani realized this was not what he wanted. He returned home from war and got a job at the department store ‘La Rinascenta’ as a window dresser. Later on he became a seller in the menswear department which really helped him experience various features of the fashion industry. In the 1960s Armani joined the company ‘Nino Cerruti’ where he was in charge of designing menswear. Along with this he also designed for other fashion houses such as Bagutta, Allegri, Sicons, Montedoro, Hiltons and Tendresse. For the next decade Armani was in high demand and his work was highly acclaimed amongst the international press. On the advice of his partner Sergio Galeotti, he decided to found his own label. In 1975, he established ‘Giorgio Armani S.p.A’ in Milan and in October launched his first collection of ready to wear men’s and women’s clothing for summer 1976.
His designs used fabrics in surprising contexts and blends which also became his defining style. His trademark was reinterpreting the traditional business suits to unstructured and comfortable styles for men and a more masculine look for women. During the 1980 Armani’s ‘power suit’ for men and women became a symbol for the era of global economic success. He was the first designer after Christian Dior to appear on the cover of Times magazine. He used to approach celebs to wear his designs on events. Hollywood stars such as Jodie Foster, Michele Pfeiffer and John Travolta dressed in Armani at the Academy Awards. Giorgio Armani also designed costumes for theater, stage and airline crew. His fame skyrocketed after Richard Gere wore his designs in the movie ‘American Gigolo’. He also designed outfits for the popular hit TV series ‘Miami Vice’. His long term partner Galeotti died due to cancer in 1985 and although people thought this would be the end for Armani, he not only increased his business activities he proved to the world that he was an extremely talented executive and designer.
By the end of the 90s, there were more than 2000 Armani stores all over the world and his annual sales were somewhere around $2 billion. In 2005, he started his ‘Haute Couture’ line. His latest business venture is Armani hotels. He opened his first hotel in Dubai 2010 and another in Milan. Armani is one of the greatest designers who have made their mark in the fashion industry by creating more than three decades of remarkable designs and styles.