Luxury Fashion Brands: Giorgio Armani

Giorgio Armani is a luxury fashion brand that was founded in Italy by Giorgio Armani. Today, the company creates and distributed haute couture, leather goods, ready-to-wear clothes, jewelry, shoes, cosmetics, accessories, home interiors, flowers, confectionery, and eyewear. Giorgio Armani markets these different products under several brands or labels, namely Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, Armani Junior, Armani Exchange, Armani/Casa, Armani/ Dolci, Armani/Fiori, and Armani/Hotels. In this article, we are going to know more about Emporio Armani and how the story of how they achieved the status they have today.

Giorgio Armani: Early Years

Giorgio Armani was born in the Italian town of Piacenza, where he was raised by his mother Maria Raimondi and father, Ugo Armani. While Giorgio was in secondary school, he aspired to have a career in medicine. That is why he enrolled at the University of Milan in the Department of Medicine. However, after three years, Giorgio left school to join the army in 1953. Because he had a medical background, he was assigned to join the Military Hospital that is located in Verona. There, he had a chance to attend shows that were held in the Arena. It was during that time when he decided to look for a different career path.

Giorgio Armani: Designing Career

After his career in the armed forces, Giorgio Armani found a job as a window dresser at La Rinascente, which is a department store in Milan. After that, he became a seller for the menswear department, where he gained several experiences in the marketing aspect of the fashion industry. During the mid-1960s, Giorgio Armani decided to leave La Rinascente to pursue a job in the Nino Cerruti company, where he became a designer for their menswear department. His skills were recognized, and it quickly grew in demand. He worked for Cerruti for over a decade as a freelance designer, which is why he was also able to contribute designs to several manufacturers at a time. During the late ‘60s, Giorgio Armani met Sergio Galeotti, who is an architectural draftsman who became Giorgio’s professional and personal partner. Galeotti was the one who persuaded Giorgio to open a design office in Milan, and this led to several extensive collaborations wherein Giorgio worked as a freelance designer in several fashion houses such as Hilton, Allegri, Tendrresse, Gibo, and Bagutta. The international press was quick to notice Giorgio Armani’s talent after a series of runway shows that were held in the Pitti Place in Florence. This exposure allowed Giorgio to expand and develop his own style. In July 1975, Giorgio Armani launched Giorgio Armani S.p.A in Milan together with Sergio Galeotti. That same year, Giorgio presented his first collection of men’s ready-to-wear clothes for Spring and Summer. He also released a women’s line during the same season.

By 1978, Armani was able to build an innovative relationship with the fashion industry, and this was characterized by the 1978 agreement he had with Gruppo FinanzarioTessile. This agreement made it possible for Giorgio Armani to manufacture luxury ready-to-wear clothes. After Giorgio founded the Giorgio Armani Corporation in 1979, the designer decided to produce for the United States and introduced his Main line for men and women. This became one of the leading brand names in the international fashion industry. During that same time, Giorgio introduced several brands such as G.A Le Collezioni, Giorgio Armani Accessories, and Giorgio Armani Swimwear and Underwear. During the early 1980s, Armani signed an essential agreement with cosmetic and perfume manufacturer L’Oreal to create perfumes. It was also during that time where he introduced Armani Jeans, Armani Junior, and Emporio Armani lines.

In the 1980s, Giorgio Armani continued to expand his products and licensing agreements. He opened Armani Japan and release a line of socks, sunglasses, a new collection of basic women’s and men’s wear he called A/X Armani Exchange, and a gift collection. He continued his expansion in the 1990s where he released watches, cosmetics, home accessories, and even eyeglasses. During the 20th anniversary of the brand in 2000, Giorgio Armani saw a flurry of investment activity such as stock sales and acquisitions of new manufacturing capacity to increase their control over the distribution and quality of his products.

As of 2009, there are a total of 301 independent and franchise Armani stores all over the world. The brand is also available in selected department stores everywhere in the world. Giorgio Armani also partnered with Emaar Properties PJSC to build and operate seven luxury hotels and three vacation resorts under the Armani name. The first Armani hotel was opened in Burj Khalifa on April 2010.

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