Giorgio Armani was born in 1934 in Piacenza, a small town near Milan, Italy. While growing up, he went to the local public school, developing a love for the theater and cinema.
Armani attended the University of Milan medical school for a while, but left to pursue a career in photography. In 1957, he had to abandon photography after being called to serve in the military.
After finishing his tour of duty, Armani went to work as a window dresser at a large Milan department store, La Rinascente, where he started as an assistant photographer. After accepting a promotion to the La Rinascente style department, Armani helped the store buy and exhibit clothing products from the United States, Japan, India, and other countries.
In the early 1960's, with virtually no formal fashion design experience, Armani helped design a collection of men's ready to wear for the Nino Cerruti house of fashion. The collection, called "Hitman," was considered a breakthrough in men's wear for that time period.
After working for Cerrutti for about 6 years, encouraged by longtime friend, Sergio Galeotti, Armani decided to go out on his own as a freelance designer. With Galeotti's assistance, he started his own fashion company, Giorgio Armani SPA.
At the prestigious Sala Bianca fashion show in 1973 in Florence, Italy, Armani introduced his acclaimed bomber jackets that treated leather as a regular, everyday fabric. His unorthodox use of materials came to be known as part of the Armani legend. .
In 1975, Armani created his own collection of ready-to-wear men's and women's wear under the Sergio Armani brand name. The Armani men's wear became famous worldwide and established Armani as a world class fashion house.
That same year, Armani unveiled an unstructured jacket for women that was made with traditional menswear fabrics. The jacket was soft, yet masculine, and caused a sensation among women.
After designing Richard Gere's wardrobe for the movie, American Gigolo, many celebrities started wearing Georgio Armani and during the 1980's, Armani had become a fashion powerhouse. Everyone who wanted to be seen in fashionable clothing, wore Giorgio Armani.
One of the most enduring pieces of the attire made by Giorgio Armani is the "power suit," which is still being worn by businessmen today.
In 1991, Armani created a collection of jeans, sports coats, T-shirts, and other products called "Armani Exchange" that was designed to bring younger customers to the Giorgio Armani name brand. Armani Exchange, geared toward older teens and young adults, was designed in a contemporary fashion style.
In 2004, Armani and Emaar Properties signed an agreement allowing Emaar Hotels to build and operate at least seven luxury hotels and three vacation resorts under the Giorgio Armani name with Armani taking responsibility for designing all aspects of the interior of the hotels.
"Emporio Armani" is one of the largest and least expensive of the Armani products that have been released in recent years, catering to a more youthful market, with ready-to-wear clothes, watches, sunglasses, perfumes, and other accessories. This line of merchandise is sold in department stores and through the internet.
The Giorgio Armani name has come to represent the best of the best. Today, Giorgio Armani is a multi-billion dollar empire, stretching around the world with it's label attached to cafes, restaurants, florist shops, confections, in addition to it's clothing and jewelry collections.
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