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Armani, Giorgio (b. 1934)  
page: 1  2  

Armani retail stores can indeed be found worldwide. There were already over two hundred of them in more than thirty countries when Armani announced plans in 2004 to enter the Chinese market by opening some thirty facilities there within five years.

Armani is known as a tireless worker who diligently oversees every detail of his operation, from small adjustments in the design of a single garment to international financial deals. So intimately has he been involved in every phase of the business that in recent years industry observers have been speculating on whether the Armani empire can survive without Armani himself.

Since 1999 he has received offers from LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) and Gucci to form joint partnerships in which Armani would retain creative control of his fashion line but cede the business operation. This side of the business is also intensely personal to Armani, however, since taking up the role formerly played by Galeotti helped him get over his partner's death. Armani has resisted all offers from other companies.

Armani stated in 2001 that he was "working on a structure that will allow [the company] to go on--a team of people that could go on without me." It appears that the team may include two of his nieces who have become part of his inner circle at the company.

The beginning of Armani's rise to prominence coincided with that of fellow countryman Gianni Versace. The two designers' approaches to fashion were markedly different: Versace showed overtly sexy clothes while Armani's designs conveyed a subtle and elegant sensuality. During the 1990s there was a rather hostile rivalry between the two Milan fashion houses, but after Versace's murder in 1997 Armani sought to gloss over the unpleasantness, saying that he considered Versace a sincere person who simply had different ideas about women's fashions.

Armani's view is that fashion should evolve rather than change radically from year to year. He commented in 2003 that he had "always tried to do things that are new but that can be combined with what you've already got in your wardrobe." His emphasis has consistently been on the classic and the elegant, gently draped soft fabrics, and meticulously designed details such as exquisite beadwork.

On the occasion of Armani's twenty-fifth anniversary as a designer in 2000 the Guggenheim Museum in New York mounted an exhibition of his work. The show later traveled to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and to Berlin.

In a 2001 interview Armani was asked about the greatest failure of his career. He dismissed fashion lines or merchandising ideas that did not work--although he had relatively few of those--as "normal things." "Perhaps the greatest failure," he replied, "was not being able to stop my partner from dying."

Linda Rapp

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"Armani After All: In Rare Interviews, Italy's Legendary Fashion Designer Talks about How Personal Tragedy Shaped His Determination to Hold on to His Empire, and Why He Is Gambling on Global Expansion." Newsweek (September 3, 2001): 34.

Bachrach, Judy. "Armani in Full." Vanity Fair 482 (October 2000): 360-365, 395-398.

Blanchard, Tamsin. "Armani: The Art of Being." The Observer (June 17, 2001): Life, 10.

Colavita, Courtney. "Giorgio Armani; Unadorned Grace and Contemporary Style--That's the Armani Aesthetic, and the Approach Has Made Him One of the Most Powerful Designers Anywhere." Daily News Record (December 31, 2001): 76.

Rushton, Susie. "Nice and Easy Does It; For 30 Years He Has Been the King of Casual Elegance, Equally Adored." Independent on Sunday (London) (September 28, 2003): Features.

Shalett, Karen Sommer. "Cole Porter Couture: 'De-Lovely' Fashions from Back in the Day Are Back in Style." Times-Picayune (New Orleans) (July 17, 2004): Living, 1.

White, Nicola. Giorgio Armani. London: Carlton Books, 2000.


    Citation Information
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Armani, Giorgio  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2004  
    Date Last Updated August 23, 2010  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2004, glbtq, inc.  


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