the designers

1934-born Giorgio Armani gave up a career in medicine to pursue his interest in fashion. After a brief career as a photographer, he got his first job as a window dresser in the LaRinascente departmental store, in Milan. After working some time, he became Junior Buyer.

1964 He left La Rinascente and joined Nino Cerruti where he worked as a designer for his menswear company Hitman.

197O Armani started a company with his friend Sergio Galeotti, who was an architectural draftsman. For five years, they freelanced with various manufacturers and designed for others. He made women’s clothes for Tendresse, mannish coats for Gibo, a ready-to-wear house in Florence and also made two menswear collections for Emanuel Ungaro, from whom he learned the good cutting techniques he needed.

1974 Giorgio held the first show in his own name.

1975 Giorgio Armani launched his own label with the founding of the Giorgio Armani Company. On April 5th 1982, Giorgi was on the cover of Time Magazine. He was the first Italian designer to be so honoured, and only the second after Dior.

1983 He received the CFDA International Award.

Armani achieved his international breakthrough by tailoring for numerous Hollywood names and especially for Richard Gere in the title role of American Gigolo in 1980. In 2001, Forbes named him the most successful Italian designer, estimating his net worth at $1.7 billion; in giving him the same title five years later, the magazine estimated his fortune had grown to $4.1 billion.

Armani was among the first designers to ban models with a body mass index (BMI) under 18, after model Ana Carolina Reston starved herself to death due to anorexia nervosa.

In January 2007 Armani became the first designer to broadcast a haute couture fashion show live on the Internet. The Armani Prive spring/summer 2007 fashion show was broadcast via Microsoft Corporation’s MSN and Cingular cellular phones.

Giorgio Armani has a keen interest in sport; he is the president of Olimpia Milano basketball team, an Inter Milan fan and has twice designed suits for the England national football team. He has been responsible for the suits worn by England's Chelsea FC since August 2007. He designed the ceremonial Italian flag-bearers' outfits at the 2006 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Turin.

The Look

Following the phenomenal success of his menswear, Armani used the elements of masculine tailoring to make feminine garments. Armani understands how to make a suit sexy. He made jackets without stiff linings, opened up the armholes, deleted superfluous buttons and re-figured the proportions. He used soft slinky dress fabrics to make jackets, so lacking in starch that they could scarcely hold a crease. The design of the Armani jacket is far removed from traditional principles of jacket tailoring. On ordinary jackets, the shoulders fit tightly, the waist is apparent and it hits the breast. His jackets do not do any of these. He makes the shoulder sloping, giving the illusion of a longer neck, the fabric at the collar is pared away, again lengthening the neck, and the whole effect is restrained and languid, not at all masculine. His clothes have a sense of control and the lack of fuss and clutter make women feel comfortable. Armani uses a dense weave of 5 or even 8 strands of different colours, which at a distance merge into a neutral. This can be called beige, or stone, pearl, mink, sludge, etc. In all cases he stresses simplicity, and minimalism. He hardly uses accessories or jewellery in his collections. His style is the perfect bridge between refined elegance and down-to-earth comfort.

Who Wears It

Jodie Foster, Michelle Pfeiffer, Richard Gere, Goldie Hawn, Sharon Stone.


1982 Armani le Parfum (W)
1984 Armani (M)
1984 Armani Mens cologne
1992 Gio (W)
1994 Arman Eau pour homme
1995 Acqua di Gio (W)
1997 Acqua di Gio for men
1998 Emporio Armani (His and Hers)
1999 Mania (W)
2001 Emporio Armani white (W) and (M)
2001 Emporio Armani black (M)
2002 Armani Mania (M)
2002 Sensi (W)
2003 Emporio Armani Night (M)
2003 Emporio Armani Night (W)
2003 Emporio Armani Nicht Elle (W)
2004 Sensi White Notes (W)
2004 Black Code (M)
2004 Armani Mania (W)
2005 Armani Code (M)
2006 Armani Code (W)
2007 Armani Attitude (M)
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