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Who Is Giorgio Armani

Updated on January 24, 2012

Where You Can Find Giorgio Armani's Designs

Giorgio Armani is the iconic Italian designer who burst on to the men's clothing scene in the 1980s when he dressed actor Richard Gere in the film American Gigolo. Since then he has clothed both Hollywood's leading ladies and men, as well as having affordable versions of his designs available in a ready-to-wear format at A.X Armani Exchange. This lens gives more information on the various films Armani has contributed to the wardrobes for, as well as his other noteworthy achievements as a fashion designer extraordinaire.

Armani's Early Years

Studies in Medicine, the Italian Army and Window Dressing

Giorgio Armani literally worked his way up from the bottom, now enjoying the title of the world's wealthiest fashion designer (according to Forbes Magazine). Born on July 11, 1934 in Piacenza, Italy, he originally dreamt of becoming a doctor. After briefly studying medicine though, (and finding he couldn't stomach the sight of blood) he abandoned this career choice. He pursued action and romance in the Italian army and spent two years serving with them: This also was not for him. Afterwards, he scored a job dressing the windows at one of Europe's most prestigious department stores, Milan's La Reniscente, and worked his way up to eventually garnering a buyers position with them. It was during his work at La Reniscente that Armani discovered his love for fashion. He also met and fell in love with another major factor of his life, architect Sergio Galleotti. Galleotti offered Armani the encouragement to progress from working under Cerruti as an assistant designer to freelancing within fashion design. Galleotti also helped Armani found his own business and served as his business partner through the company's formative years.

Most Successful Italian Designer

In 2006, Forbes Magazine named Giorgio Armani (with his $4.1 billion fortune) the most successful Italian designer.

The Deconstructed Suit

Influenced by Neapolitan tailors designing for the Mediterranean heat.

Giorgio Armani is best known for his "deconstructed suits."

Armani also released a line of women's clothing in 1975. Where he had softened the man's suit by deconstructing it, he made womens wear more masculine. The film Annie Hall, starring Diane Keaton, with its signature menswear on the ladies, had the clothing designed by Armani. Armani created the "power" suit for women.

Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani has more than a keen eye for style. Forbes magazine has him listed as #203 on its list of billionaires. The self-made style icon is worth $5.0 billion!

The Italian company, Giorgio Armani S.P.A. manufactures products under the labels Giorgio Armani, Armani Collezzioni, Emporio Armani, Armani Jeans, Armani Junior, Armani Exchange and Armani Casa. Armani Prive is the haute couture branch of the company. It was founded in Milan in 1975 by Giorgio Armani and Sergio Galleoti. It is now privately owned by Giorgio Armani himself. The company is in planning with Emaar Properties concerning luxury hotels and resorts

Other Houses Armani Designed For

Both as Assistant Designer and a Freelance Designer

  • Cerruti - Assistant Designer for the 'Hitman' line 1964 - 1970
  • Ungaro - Freelance Designer
  • Zegna - Freelance Designer

Freelance Design

Giorgio Armani did freelance design work for both Ungaro and Zegna

American Gigolo (1980) Starring Richard Gere - Catapulting Giorgio Armani To Stardom

Giorgio Armani had already been designing clothing for many of Hollywood's elite by the time he was asked to design Richard Gere's entire wardrobe for the 1980 film American Gigolo. The film almost served as an advertisement for Armani clothing, catapulting him to fashion super-stardom.

Giorgio Armani was the 1st fashion designer to grace the cover of Time Magazine when he did so for their April 5, 1982 issue. The last designer to get this accomplishment before Armani was Christian Dior (1957).

Sergio Galleotti's Death

August, 1985

The death of Armani's partner, Sergio Galleotti, in August of 1985 came as a stinging blow to Giorgio Armani. More than just a business partner, Galleotti was also Armani's life partner. The couple had started the Armani empire nearly ten years ago on a meager budget with proceeds from the sale of their Volkswagen car. Galleotti was the impetus behind Armani's decision to begin a design career on his own after several years of freelance work.

Sergio Galleotti

Armani's partner, Sergio Galleotti, died in August, 1985, at age 40.

Armani Muses - Beyonce and Solange Knowles

July 2008

In 2008, it was announced that Solange Knowles, sister of Beyonce Knowles would be the Ambassador for Armani Jeans. Solange follows her sister Beyonce in relations with Armani: Beyonce became the spokesperson for Armani's 'Diamonds' fragrance in 2007.

Solange Knowles Becomes an Armani Fashion Ambassador - NYFashion.com - July 31, 2008

Armani Says Solange - Vogue.com - July 31, 2008

Different Armani Labels

Which is the most expensive?

Armani's designs are universally accessible. Anyone can wear Armani, not just the celebrities and sports stars he is famous for dressing. Which brands of Armani are the most expensive though? Here's our breakdown.

Most Expensive

  1. Armani Prive - haute couture
  2. Giorgio Armani - high-end ready-to-wear (Armani "black label")
  3. Armani Collezzioni - high-end, high quality classics
  4. Emporio Armani - "bridge line" youthful Armani designs
  5. Armani Jeans - "bridge line" denim-related clothing
  6. Armani Exchange - urban-style, pret-a-porter for the youth

Least Expensive

Interviews With Giorgio Armani

In the 2008 interview (International Herald Tribune - Suzy Menkes & Giorgio Armani - Milan Menswear, Fall / Winter 2008) with Giorgio Armani, he discusses his use of celebrity in his campaigns (Beyonce and David Beckham), the 2008 Emporio Armani show (clients 25-35 who "love fashion and have a decent buying power") and mens underwear.

The Armani Mission

"My philosophy has always been to help women and men feel comfortable and confident through the clothes that they wear, rather than to create decoration for the sake of it." -Giorgio Armani

1980s Films Featuring Giorgio Armani Designs - More than an American Gigolo

Giorgio become an international name when Richard Gere was suited by him in the 1980 film American Gigolo. He was responsible for the wardrobe in 1984's Streets of Fire. Giorgio Armani was also responsible for the wardrobe in Dario Argento's Phenomena. He dressed Ariane (playing Tracy Tzu) in the 1985 film Year of the Dragon, starring Mickey Rourke.

American Gigolo
American Gigolo

Richard Gere - 1980

 

Hollywood in Armani

  • Diane Keaton - Armani designed Diane Keaton's clothing in Anne Hall, as well as doing the outfit she wore for her acceptance speech.

The Latest Bold Move From Armani

Giorgio Armani covers all ends of the fashion spectrum

As reported by the Canadian Press on March 13, 2009, Giorgio Armani is again breaking new ground with his concept store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, NY. This store will bring ready-to-wear Armani street and casual fashions in juxtaposition with collection suit pieces priced to sell for thousands of dollars. Not content with drawing luxury shoppers and trendy kids on a budget, Armani is also reaching out to the foodie crowd by opening a Tuscan restaurant in his store.

Armani himself blogged about arriving in New York from Milan to open the store, and commented on various differences between European and American life. Armani was definitely involved in every detail of the finishing touches for this store, being a "firm but fair" boss. While in NY, Armani visited the Bronx with Carolyn Kennedy, in particular the DreamYard Art Center that he helped donated to through the Fund For Public Schools. The actual opening ceremony and party reads like a who's who of celebrities: Paris Hilton, John Mayer, Leonardo DiCaprio, Emile Hirsch, Mira Sorvino, Victoria Beckham, Robert DeNiro, Martin Scorsese..

If you're shopping online for Armani Exchange clothing, be sure to check Centsible for all the different places online you can purchase this line. Centsible offers Armani Exchange Coupon or Promo Codes and Armani Exchange free or reduced shipping advice.

Armani Exchange offers very competitive shipping charges: just $6 for standard shipping up to $20 for "express plus" shipping that delivers your order within 2 to 3 days. Armani Exchange even offers $6 same-day shipping (delivery between 2pm and 6pm) to certain Manhattan zip codes when you place your order before noon.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani Jeans Spokesperson

Cristiano Ronaldo

According to an Armani Press Release dated June 14, 2010, GIORGIO ARMANI UNVEILS THE NEW IMAGES OF THE AUTUMN/WINTER 2010-11 EMPORIO ARMANI UNDERWEAR AND ARMANI JEANS CAMPAIGNS FEATURING CRISTIANO RONALDO, Cristiano Ronaldo will be appearing for the second season as the spokesperson for both Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani Jeans.

Fragrances From Giorgio Armani - Men's and Women's Collections Currently Available

The current Giorgio Armani fragrances available are:

Men:

  • Attitude Extreme
  • Attitude
  • Acqua Di Gio
  • Armani Mania
  • Armani Eau Pour Homme
  • Armani Code
  • Emporio Armani He
  • Emporio Armani Diamonds For Men

Women:

  • Armani Code Women
  • Armani Mania Women
  • Acqua Di Gio
  • Onde
  • Sensi
  • Emporio Armani She
  • Emporio Armani Diamonds Intense
  • Emporio Armani Diamonds

Learn about Armani the Person

Giorgio Armani was born July 11, 1934. His original passion was medicine and he studied to be a doctor. Soon realizing this profession was not for him, he switched to study photography. In 1957, he again switched focus as he completed his obligatory military service. Learn how Armani worked his way up from a middle-class upbringing in WWII Italy to being one of the most powerful men in fashion with these books.

Fashion Brands: Branding Style from Armani to Zara
Fashion Brands: Branding Style from Armani to Zara

"Journalist Mark Tungate presents a terrific overview of many key aspects of this gritty yet ephemeral business. This is a serious book... Tungate goes inside fashion firms that know how to sell dreams and illusions made of Italian fabrics and fine leather. We recommend this book to marketers - even those who are not fashion minded - who want to rejuvenate their creativity and pick up some new sources of inspiration and style." -- getAbstract.com

 
Being Armani: A Biography
Being Armani: A Biography

"Before he became an icon, fashion designer Georgio Armani grew up in a middle-class family and studied medicine, falling into fashion largely by chance: "In my beginnings, there was no fire in the belly for fashion. I really didn't want to do fashion at all," he says. In this honest, insightful biography, Italian fashion critic (and former contributor to Italian GQ and Vogue) Molho follows Armani from his childhood in Piacenza, Italy during WWII, through his induction into the industry, the challenges of establishing Emperio Armani S.p.A. in 1975, to ultimate success and fame. Although Armani's accomplishments bring him a luxury lifestyle, his early years are wrenching, as is the 1985 death of his beloved partner, Sergio Galeotti, a loss that nearly took him back to square one."

 
Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani

"The fashion house of Armani is reported to be the most financially successful that Italy has ever produced. Giorgio Armani first made fashion headlines in the mid-1970s, when he redefined the rules of tailoring by reinventing the jacket, making it far simpler. His name is known the world over and his eagle logo is instantly recognizable on a range of products that includes not only the main clothing ranges for men, women and children, but also jeans, underwear, skiwear, shoes, sunglasses, jewellery, hosiery, watches and perfume."

 
Giorgio Armani (English and Italian Edition)
Giorgio Armani (English and Italian Edition)

"A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the future began. The future of fashion, that is. Of course, it wasn't quite so long ago (it was the 1970s), and it wasn't quite so far away (it was Milan, Italy). Right there and then, the world witnessed the birth of the sports coat. This one jacket spawned the beginnings of casual dress and semi-androgynous fashion. This may not seem so radical now, but think about what came before."

 

Rosanna Armani

Giorgio Armani's Sister

Rosanna Armani is Giorgio Armani's younger sister. Not to be outdone by Giorgio, she's also a former fashion model and is currently a photo editor and "aesthete." In the 1960s, 17-year-old Rosanna was a 4-year cover model for Italian fashion magazine, Arianna. Turning down an invitation from film producer Dino De Laurentiis to sign a contract and become an actress, Rosanna Armani pursued a career as a fashion editor for Annabella magazine and the travel photography editor for the Italian edition of Playboy magazine.

After an 8-year stint with Playboy magazine, Rosanna went to work with her brother. She worked in the press offices and also served as the Art Director for Armani catalogues, special-edition books and ad campaigns. Armani took a break for several years and returned to work for her brother's company again 3 years ago as a photography and advertising campaign consultant.

A Milan Of Her Own. Departures. Slesin, Suzanne. 1 November, 2002.

Armani Designs In Film

Films Where Giorgio Armani Was The Featured Designer

  • American Gigolo - Richard Gere 1980
  • Streets of Fire - 1984
  • Phenomena - 1985
  • Il Desiderio e la Corruzione - Natalie Baye 1985
  • The Year of the Dragon - Ariane 1985
  • El Amor Perjudica Seriamente la Salud - Ana Belen 1997
  • Fuochi D'Artificio - Claudia Gerini & Leonardo Pieraccioni1997
  • Mars Attacks - Michael J. Fox & Jack Nicholson (selected costumes)1997
  • Mad City - Dustin Hoffman (selected costumes) 1997
  • The Jackal - Bruce Willis (selected costumes) 1997
  • Airforce One - Glenn Close (selected wardrobe) 1997
  • Mimic - Mira Sorvino 1997
  • Wag The Dog - Dustin Hoffman (selected wardrobe) 1997
  • I Am Your Child - Tom Hanks 1997
  • As Good As It Gets - Jack Nicholson & Greg Kinnear (selected wardrobes) 1997
  • One Night Stand - Jack Nicholson & Greg Kinnear (selected wardrobes) 1997
  • Gattaca - Ethan Hawke 1997
  • Touch - Gina Gershon, Christopher Walkin (selected wardrobe), Bridget Fonda 1997
  • Father's Day - Billy Crystal (selected wardbrobe) 1997
  • Bulworth - Warren Beatty (party scene clothing) 1997/1998
  • Reasonable Doubt - Melanie Griffith 1997
  • Sotto la Luna - Claudia Gerini 1997
  • Hazards et Coincidences - Alessandra Martinez 1997/em>
  • At First Sight - Mira Sorvino (selected wardbrobe) 1998
  • HurlyBurly - Kevin Spacey & Robin Wright Penn 1999
  • Ed TV - Matthew McConaughey & Ellen DeGeneres (selected wardrobes) 1999
  • Entrapment - Sean Connery & Catherine Zeta-Jones 1999
  • Entropy - Lauren Holl 1999
  • Double Jeopardy - Ashley Judd 1999
  • Goodbye Lover - Dermot Mulroney & Patricia Arquette (selected wardbrobes - Ms. Arquette's designs by Emporio Armani) 1999
  • Shaft - Samuel L. Jackson 2000
  • Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her - Glenn Close 2000
  • The Kid - Bruce Willis (selected suitings) 2000
  • Bounce - 2000
  • Made - Vince Vaughn 2000
  • The Dark Knight - Christian Bale 2008

Armani Designs In Sport

Sports Teams Wearing Giorgio Armani Designs

  • England Football Team -
  • Italian Flag Bearers - Winter Olympics 2006
  • Chelsea FC - since 2007

1997 Actors Dressed by Armani - Michael J. Fox, Bruce Willis, Billy Crystal, Ethan Hawke, Tom Hanks, Warren Beatty, Christopher Walkin..

1997 produced numerous films with men dressed by Giorgio Armani. He dressed Michael J. Fox in Mars Attacks, Billy Crystal in Father's Day, Ethan Hawke in Gattaca, Tom Hanks in I Am Your Child, Bruce Willis in The Jackal. Selected outfits worn by Christopher Walkin in Touch and clothing worn during the party scene in Bulworth by Warren Beatty were also designed by Mr. Armani.

Multiple Suitings With Giorgio Armani in 1997 Films - Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, Greg Kinnear

Armani designed clothing for Dustin Hoffman in two 1997 films, both Mad City and Wag The Dog. He dressed Jack Nicholson in Mars Attacks, As Good As It Gets and One Night Stand (Armani also clothed Greg Kinnear in both As Good As It Gets and One Night Stand).

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Are you a fan of Giorgio Armani? Emporio Armani? Do you wear any of the Armani labels? Are you more likely to after learning a bit more about Giorgio Armani the designer? Please let me know what you think about this lens!

Contact Laura Schofield

*If you would like to suggest any links or have your own photos and / or stories published, please send me an email. I can be contacted through my personal homepage, laura-schofield.com. If you enjoy the work I've done here, I do offer professional copy writing, photo restoration / manipulation, search engine optimization and web design services. I can again be contacted for any of these services through my website.

Do you wear Giorgio Armani? - Emporio Armani, A|X Armani Exchange?

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    • Classic LM profile image

      Classic LM 4 years ago

      Thanks for visiting my lens on Oscar de la Renta, and leaving a nice comment. Sorry for just now returning the visit, awesome lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great lens, I wasn't aware that Georgio been around over 30 years!

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 6 years ago from Pittsburgh

      Yes, I'm a big fan of Giorgio Armani fashions. Very impressive lens, I loved it! Blessed by a Squid Angel****

    • therealstig86 profile image

      therealstig86 6 years ago

      Now I love Armani clothes. This is great.

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      guystyleguide 8 years ago

      This is a great lens - learnt so much about Giorgio Armani that I never knew before!