Giorgio Armani Profile Piece

Next year the living legend Giorgio Armani will turn 80. I think we should all turn back time and look how this man from Italy formed a huge fashion brand, one which is still going strong today.

Born on 11th July 1934 in the northern Italian town of Piacenza, Giorgio Armani was the second of three children. In the early 1950’s he enrolled in medical school to fulfill his ambition of becoming a doctor but after three years broke of his studies to join the army. Thanks to his medical training he was soon transferred to an infirmary in Verona in Italy. However he soon realised that he couldn’t stand the sight of blood and was forced to reconsider his career in medicine.

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Soon after leaving the armed forces Armani gained employment as a window dresser at a department store in Milan before being promoted to the menswear department. In the 1960’s he went to work for Nino Cerruti where he worked for 6 years designing menswear. While working for Cerruti he also worked freelance contributing designs to other manufacturers and met architectural draftsman Sergio Galeotti the two soon became friends and business partners. Thus Armani was on the road to achieving his legendary status as a fashion designer.

Galeotti persuaded Armani in 1973 to open a design office in Milan. It was during this period that Armani worked as a freelance designer for fashion houses such as Allegri, Bagutta and Hilton. He eventually launched his first Spring/Summer collection in 1975 in partnership with Galeotti.

As his career took of Armani saw the importance of cinema to the Armani brand and began working as fashion designer on numerous Hollywood films. Armani has now to date worked on over 100 movies including American Gigolo staring Richard Gere and The Untouchables staring Kevin Costner and Sean Connery. Following the success of American Gigolo Armani launched Emporio Armani a less expensive and more youth oriented version of his label.

In 2000 the Guggenheim Museum in New York hosted an exhibition of Armani’s work, the exhibition had an average attendance of 29,000 people a week and was the first of its kind for a fashion designer still living. He has also pioneered innovations and social changes such as being the first designer to ban models with a body mass index of less than 18 after the model Ana Carolina Reston starved herself to death due to anorexia nervosa. He also broadcast his Armani Prive Spring/Summer 2007 collection via the internet and cell phones.

Armani now has several sub labels such as: Giorgio Armani, Armani Collezioni, Emporio Armani, AJ | Armani Jeans, AX | Armani Exchange, Armani Junior, and Armani/Casa. He also has 250 stores in 33 countries worldwide and global sales of $2 billion a year and a personal fortune said to be around $8.5 billion. Not bad for some one who originally wanted to become a doctor.

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