Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Happy Birthday to Fashion Designer Giorgio Armani


Giorgio Armani was born today, July 11, in 1934. He is an Italian fashion designer. He is known today for his clean, tailored lines. He formed his company, Armani, in 1975, and by 2001 was acclaimed as the most successful designer of Italian origin, with an annual turnover of $1.6 billion and a personal fortune of $8.1 billion as of 2017. He is credited with pioneering red-carpet fashion.

Armani was born in the northern Italian town of Piacenza. While at secondary school at the Liceo Scientifico Respighi in Piacenza, Armani aspired to a career in medicine, particularly after reading A. J. Cronin's The Citadel. He enrolled in the Department of Medicine at the University of Milan, but after 3 years, in 1953, he left and joined the army. Due to his medical background, he was assigned to the Military Hospital in Verona, where he would attend shows at the Arena. He eventually decided to look for a different career path.


After his stint in the armed forces, Armani found a job as a window dresser at La Rinascente, a department store in Milan in 1957. 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, where 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 10 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 on July 24, 1975, he founded Giorgio Armani S.p.A. in Milan, with Galeotti (at right with Armani). 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.

In 1979, after founding the Giorgio Armani Corporation, Armani began producing for the United States and introduced the Main 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 

Armani 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).


Armani is an intensely private man, but has publicly identified as bisexual. He had a longstanding relationship with his business partner, the architect Sergio Galeotti, who died of a heart attack in 1985.

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