There are brands affiliated with the names of their creators, and the Armani name is one of them. Started by Giorgio Armani in the 1970s, it has since become one of the biggest names in fashion and design. Earning more than $1 billion annually, the designer is a billionaire many times over and closely associated with premium design such as "red carpet" and runway looks.
The name Armani brand goes beyond red carpet and is known for its haute couture and read to wear looks, shoes, jewellery, watches, eyewear, leather goods, accessories, cosmetics and even some home interiors. Ranging from very exclusive and high end prices to more affordable consumer goods, it is one of the few globally recognized names with high fashion.
A History of the Armani Brand
Italian born, Giorgio Armani initially thought he would be a physician. However, his earliest experiences in the field found him discouraged and looking for something else. He fell into a job as a window dresser in Milan, and quickly advanced from the menswear department to a marketing career.
By the 1960s, Armani had already been designing menswear and had been hired by a top fashion house. He remained with this firm for a decade but also started working as a freelance agent. His looks appeared in the fashions of more than ten different brands, but it was the beginning of a relationship with architect Sergio Galeotti that persuaded him to create an independent design firm in the 1970s.
Collaborating with some of the biggest names in Italian fashion, he was soon recognized for his unique style and decided that it was time to create his own label. In 1975 he established the Armani brand and began showing his looks in major runway shows, creating both men's and women's lines.
He was an innovator right from the beginning, crafting stylish looks that appealed to a diverse audience. He also created relationships with textile firms that enabled him to make ready to wear garments from some of the most luxurious materials available. Within less than five years, the name was known around the world, and Armani was established in the U.S. markets too.
His vision was expansive, and the Armani name was associated with cosmetics, designer jeans, movie costumes, retail stores, swimwear, and even unusual approaches to advertising that saw models displayed on enormous billboards and in commercials - something that had not been previously done.
With an ability to adjust to the markets, he created affordable ready to wear looks through the Armani Exchange label, delved into designer glasses and socks, and even went into skiwear. His runway shows became major events and saw famous recording artists such as Eric Clapton creating original music. At this same time, he was also delving into home decor and cosmetics, too, and in the year 2000 the Guggenheim Museum did a retrospective of his work.
He has a tremendous following for more than just his fashion designs. His work has won scores of awards since the 1980s. Additionally, he has built a reputation that is different from many other labels by working directly with materials suppliers, being the fist designer to refuse to work with models with unhealthy body mass indices (18 or less), and crossing over into work such as the design of bullfighter uniforms, pop stars, and even award shows.
The Armani Labels
The name Armani designates the entire company, but within that are the many different brands. Currently, fans of the designer can purchase:
- Giorgio Armani - This is a premium brand of ready to wear fashions for men and women, and is available exclusively in Giorgio Armani boutiques.
- Emporio Armani - This is the brand of runway and ready to wear garments that are designed specifically by Armani himself and displayed at Milan's fashion week annually.
- Armani Collezioni - A higher end label of ready to wear, aimed at a younger bracket but veering more towards haute couture.
- Armani Jeans - Established in 1981, this brand still appears in many department stores.
- Armani Exchange - Created in 1991, it is a youthful line that allows the Armani name to be more accessible and which has a more "street chic" look.
- Armani Junior - Children's line of luxury clothing by Armani.
- Armani Casa - The company's brand of housewares available in boutiques and upscale department stores.
- Armani Cosmetics - A luxury branch of L'Oreal available in department stores.
Since the 1970s, the name Armani has been associated with chic design and remains a champion in the world of fashion today.
Armani.com. Home. http://www.armani.com/us