The Histiory of Italian Fashion: Giorgio Armani • Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana

The Histiory of Italian Fashion: Giorgio Armani

The Histiory of Italian Fashion: Giorgio Armani

Giorgio Armani is worldwide the synonymous of Italian style and elegance. He is now at the head of a vast empire, not surprisingly the British call him King George and his is a kingdom which has lasted a very long time, precisely since 1975, when together with Sergio Galeotti he founded his brand. Born in Piacenza in 1934, Armani approached fashion by chance when in 1957 he decided - after two years of studies - to abandon Medical School in Milan and while looking for a job he was offered one at the Rinascente by his friend Rachel Enriquez; there he began to work with a team of architects who were taking care of the image of the important department store.

The experience was so formative that in the early ‘60s he became assistant of Cerruti for the new line of men's fashion Hitman, which Armani designed until 1970; it was then that under the influence of Sergio Galeotti he decided to create his own fashion line. From the beginning the catwalks of Armani showed some of the key elements of his style which then made his fortune: the women's jacket modeled on that of men, but unstructured, became the symbol of the new career women in need of practical elegance. The revolution was then applied to men's clothes - at that time too rigid - his drooping jackets, the softness of the fabrics and soft colors brought back the image of a man elegant, but not austere, vain, but not extravagant.

The international success for Giorgio Armani was not long in coming: in 1978 Diane Keaton picked up the Oscar for "Annie Hall" wearing an Armani jacket, in 1980 his clothes were worn by a promising young movie star: Richard Gere in "American Gigolo", the film which gave instant, worldwide  fame to the designer; not by chance in 1982 he earned the cover of "Time" which celebrated him by writing: "Clothes are the fabric of history, the texture of time. And this time, right now, belongs to Armani”
and the following year, the Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded him as Designer of the year.

His fashion was immediately loved by celebrities but also by ordinary people who found in his collections the answer to the new needs of the times. The portability of the garments is one of the values of ​​Giorgio Armani style. Meanwhile, Armani began its expansion: in 1981 he felt the need to create  less expensive collections, so he opened the Emporio Armani brand with the famous eagle as its logo and the Armani Jeans denim line. In 1991 came the fast fashion line Armani Exchange, in 2000 Armani Collezioni and Armani Casa, in 2004 the EA7 sportswear line that was inspired by the Milan soccer player Shevchenko, while from O months to 16 years you can dress with elegance Armani Junior collection. While the ‘80s began to underwrite the first licenses, today the Armani name is also engraved on two luxury hotels in Dubai and Milan in which interiors elegance reigns, the measure, the clean design, the soothing and sophisticated colors which  define Armani style are also on the signs of the Nobu restaurant.

Between the late ‘70s and early ‘80s Giorgio Armani was one of the persons who most contributed to the success of the Made in Italy and to make Milan what it is today - the capital of fashion - but also had great foresight; it’s enough to remember that in 1981 he showed in Tokyo and in 1987 in Moscow, cities that will become strategic centers of expansion.  


In the year 2000 the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of New York dedicated a commemorative exhibition for his first 25 years of activity with a collection of 500 dresses: from suits with unconstructed jackets of the ‘70s up to the career women suits of the ‘80s, blacks, grays, a section dedicated to flowers and some looks engraved in the collective memory because worn in some of the most famous Hollywood movies or on the red carpet by the big movie star who maintain a special bond with this brand. The pearl gray, red Tibetan, the deep blue of the sea evoke his beloved Pantelleria, where he spends a lot of time and the East whose philosophies fascinate him to the point of being able to translate into his clothes an unusual and typical Giorgio Armani spirituality.