Giorgio Armani’s Early Life
Iconic Italian fashion designer, Giorgio Armani was born in 1934 in the small industrial town at Piacenza Italy. He studied to be a doctor. He enrolled in the Department of Medicine at the University of Milan, after three years, in 1953, he left the university studies and joined the army. Due to his medical background, he was assigned to the Military Hospital in Verona, Italy.
After his work at the armed forces, in 1957, Armani joined as a visual merchandiser at “La Rinascente”, a department store in Milan and then became a seller for the menswear section at the same store. This experience, his exposure to the marketing aspect of the fashion industry, greatly helped him for his journey to building a global fashion empire.
In the mid-1960s, Giorgio Armani joined a company called “Nino Cerrutti” as a fashion designer. During that time he also got the opportunity to work as a freelance designer for various fashion houses. In the late 1960s, Armani met Sergio Galeotti, an architectural draftsman, which marked the beginning of a strong personal and professional relationship that went on for many years. In 1973, Galeotti convinced him to open their own design house in Corso Venezia, which led to a period of extensive collaboration.
Expanding the Brand Into a Fashion Empire
In 1975 Armani and Galeotti founded Giorgio Armani S.p.A. in Milan. In October of that same year, he presented his first fashion collection of men’s ready-to-wear for Spring and Summer 1976 under his own name. He also started producing a women’s line for the same season. His company continued to add to its product offerings, expanding into the home goods market and book publishing. In 2005 Armani debuted his first haute couture line. Armani was among the first fashion brands to create a branding hierarchy targeted at different market segments. from entry-level Armani Exchange to ultra-luxury Armani Prive.
As of now, there are over 500 independent and franchise Armani stores around the world, which sell the Armani Junior and Armani Baby products. In addition, the label is available in selected department stores around the world.
Armani Luxury Hotels
Luxury Hotels have become Armani’s latest venture. In 2010 First Armani hotel, one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, was opened in the “Burj Khalifa” building, Dubai, with the collaboration between Giorgio Armani S.p.A. and Emaar Properties PJSC. This extravagance luxury hotel occupies the bottom 39 floors of the supertall skyscraper, it has 160 guest rooms and suites, and 144 residences. Another famous Armani hotel is the Armani Hotel Milan, Situated at the heart of Milan’s city center, Armani Hotel Milano offers unmatched 5-star luxury hotel and signature Armani style.
Armani’s Passion for Sports
Giorgio Armani has a great interest in sports. He is the president of the Olimpia Milano basketball team and a very good fan of the Inter Milan football club. He has twice designed suits for the England national football team. Suits designed by Armani have been 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. For the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Armani again supplied all the formal and leisurewear for the athletes on the Italian Olympic and Paralympic teams. 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.
What are the differences between Armani Exchange, Emporio Armani, Giorgio Armani and Armani Jeans?
Giorgio Armani is the name of the designer, the owner of everything, for which all the Armani brands are named. There are several separate labels under the Armani Empire that cater to different markets and price points. The following are the apparel lines listed in descending order from most expensive to least expensive:
Armani Privé – The haute couture Armani line
Giorgio Armani– The designer Ready-to-Wear Armani line
Emporio Armani– This is slightly lower priced compared to the Armani Ready-to-wear line, and fashions are trendier, focuses on younger audience.
All above 3 brands have comprehensive involvement by Giorgio himself. The rest of the diffusion lines have little to do with him, and are designed by other teams:
Armani Collezioni- This is also just below the RTW pricing, and is differentiated from Emporio Armani line by the fact that this is more classic/business/formal line, focuses on older audience.
Armani Exchange (A|X) – This is the mass market line, with trendy/casual/street style. Very much geared toward younger audience, and until relatively recently was heavily over licensed due to different majority ownership.
Armani Jeans– Similar price to A|X, but focused on denim.
Armani Junior – up to 16 yrs. old.