Mini-Bio: Giorgio Armani
Today, as part of our mini-bio series, we are going to tell you about Giorgio Armani – iconic fashion designer from Italy – and his success story. His company was founded in the mid-1970s and by the 1980s his popularity in the US driven by men’s suits was booming. The empire he created kept growing and now spans a multitude of boutiques and stores in over 35 countries, restaurants and even hotels.
Giorgio Armani was born in 1934 in Piacenza, Italy. Growing up wasn’t easy. His childhood was about poverty and hardships whereas cinema was his only sanctuary – with beautiful and glamorous movie stars. He also showed interest in anatomy, and initially wanted a career in medicine. After his military service he took a job at a department store in Milan. This is where he learned the marketing specifics of fashion industry. Later he joined Cerruti as a menswear designer. He also started freelance work. In 1973, following advice of his friend Sergio Galeotti, he opened a design office. The collaboration with several design homes gave him experience and strength to found his own brand.
Giorgio Armani S.p.A. was established in summer of 1975 and produced a line of clothing for men the same year. His work gained popularity in Europe very fast. Cooperation with the cinema industry, e.g. American Gigolo (1980), helped raise interest in the United States. In 1982, he appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Soon, the brand became one of the leading names in international fashion, and many celebrities started wearing Armani outfits on the red carpet. In 1987, Giorgio Armani received the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award.
Success in the world of fashion was followed by further expansion of business. A number of product lines were introduced in the 1980s: accessories, gifts, jeans, kidswear, perfumes, swimwear, etc. Armani opened his first restaurant in 1989. The number of stores worldwide was increasing rapidly. In 1998, he entered the Chinese market with the first store and very ambitious plans. In 2005, he launched his first haute couture line, in 2010 – his first hotel in Dubai. Today he is a fashion icon, a billionaire and the most successful designer from Italy.