At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Giorgio Armani – designer

Former army medic forged brilliant career in fashion


Fashion designer Giorgio Armani, who is 82 today
Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani, who is considered by many to be Italy's greatest fashion designer, was born on this day in 1934 in Piacenza in Emilia-Romagna.

Known for his menswear and the clean, tailored lines of his collections for women, Armani, who celebrates his 82nd birthday today, has become a multi-billionaire.

His original career plan was to become a doctor and he enrolled in the Department of Medicine at the University of Milan but after three years left to join the army. Due to his medical background he was assigned to the military hospital in Verona.

After he left the army, Armani decided to have a complete career change and got a job as a window dresser for La Rinascente, a Milan department store.

He progressed to become a sales assistant in the menswear department and then moved on to work for Nino Cerruti as a menswear designer.

In 1973 Armani opened a design office in Milan from where he worked as a freelance designer for fashion houses. He founded his own company, Giorgio Armani, in Milan in 1975.

La Rinascente in Milan, with its rooftop garden, as seen from the roof of the neighbouring Duomo
La Rinascente in Milan, with its rooftop garden,
as seen from the roof of the neighbouring Duomo
He began producing designs specifically for the United States and his label soon became one of the leading names in international fashion. He also designed costumes for the film industry and suits for many sports teams, including the England football team.

Armani has built up a network of hundreds of boutiques and stores across nearly 40 countries.

He was also the first designer to ban models who had a BMI of less than 18, following the death of a model from anorexia.

Travel tip:

La Rinascente in Milan, where Giorgio Armani once worked, is right in the centre of the city in Piazza Duomo, close to the entrance to the Duomo metro stop. The store, which sells clothes and cosmetics as well as house wares, was nominated the Best Department Store in the World at a Global Department Store Summit in 2016.

Milan's Via Montenapoleone, home of the original Armani store
Milan's Via Montenapoleone
Travel tip:

The original Giorgio Armani store in Milan is in Via Montenapoleone in the centre of the city. It reopened in April 2015 after Armani and his team of architects had completely redesigned the store to bring out the original architecture of the building. This was part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the company.

(Photo of Giorgio Armani by GianAngelo Pistoia CC BY-SA 3.0)
(Photo of Via Montenapoleone by Geobia CC BY-SA 4.0)


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