Giorgio Armani, the sole share holder, Chief Executive Officer, President and chief designer of Giorgio Armani SpA which is one of the most profitable fashion houses, is quite qualified for the interlocking work of design, management and marketing. Since the early eighties, he had been recognized as one of the most successful and well-selling designers in global fashion industry. Teri Agins (2000) stated that Giorgio Armani is one of the world’s best-selling designer, a creator who was equal parts steak and sizzle—fashion and marketing. In addition, once, it was published in Forbes (Richard Heller 2001) that ‘Armani is unique. He’s the only designer in the world who has been able to combine real creative genius with a tremendously astute business sense.’
As an icon to fashion newcomers, stars and fans, Giorgio Armani has created a super fashion empire which owns 10 lines (Armani Prive, Giorgio Armani, Armani Collezioni, Emporio Armani, AJ Armani Jeans, A/X Armani Exchange, Armani Junior, Armani Casa, Armani Cosmetic and Armani Hotel), more than three hundred stores in thirty-six countries, thirteen factories all over the world and approximately five thousand employees. He keeps perfect balance between the role of designer and director. Mr. Armani was chosen as the world’s most successful designer by Forbes in 2000 and honored with a lifetime achievement in a 2004’s gala event organized by the Fashion Group International which is a global non-profit association with a membership of over 6000 professionals of achievement and influence representing all areas of the fashion, apparel, accessories, beauty, and home industries to commend his inapproachability talents and high status in fashion area.
This article will be separated into three parts to wholly demonstrate Giorgio Armani’s major contribution and evaluate his status and impact in the field of fashion.
- The DesignRevolutionGiorgioArmani brought
- GiorgioArmani’s Unique Marketing Strategy
- Design Revolutionary
Giorgio Armani, one of the most famous fashion designers known by people of all ranks and classes in the world, is the undisputed genius of fashion. This Italian designer first made a name for himself by his menswear. Followed 1975’s successful menswear fashion show, he started designing chicly women’s wear in 1976. However, Armani lead the fashion trend at that time and indeed revolutionized the men’s and women’s dressing way, thus he was usually cited as the world’s best-recognized, most commercially successful, and personally wealthy designer. (Mary Lisa Gavenas, 2008)
‘Elegant’, ‘Masculine’ and ‘minimal’ are the commonest words to describe Armani’s style. All Armani’s cuts are simple, clean and as straight as possible. It nullifies the conflict between dignity and sex, between dress and power. It also produces an aesthetic beauty on the level of the liberation of social minorities and sexualities; acquires public importance through diffusion and mass culture, while remaining open to the imaginary and the sensual; creates narcissistic commodities no longer determined only by functionality, but also by such models of symbolic identification as gender and status. ( Germane Celant , 2000)
As a fashion master, Giorgio Armani has created a significant number of design classics, such as ‘Pantsuits for women’, ‘Unconstructed Suit ‘, ‘Ethnic Style’ and ‘Casual Luxury’. But if we have to select one as his representative work, jacket, is the inevitable choice. It is generally known that Armani is dubbed as the king of jackets by mass media, not merely because he is the first person who designed the jacket in 1975, but also since he devoted to update it and make it iconic. For Giorgio Armani, one jacket was all it took to initiate his triumphant career and to change both the streetscape and the history of fashion. Certainly it was a special jacket, something new, which miraculously illustrated the needs and not merely the aesthetic of the moment. It was created to fit the restlessness and new authority of women, and to offer men the impetus to liberate themselves from the uncomfortable armor they had been using to protect their dignity and insecurities. (Natalia Aspesi, 2000)
As mentioned in the Emporio Armani magazine, published in 1996, ‘when I began to design, men all dressed in the same way. American industry called the shots, with its technicians scattered all over the world…… all impeccably equal, equally impeccable. The Mao Syndrome. Everyone wore the same uniform, a bit wider here, a bit more tapered there, but the substance was always the same. You couldn’t tell them apart. They had no defects. But I liked defect. I wanted to personalize the jacket, to make it more closely attuned to its wearer. How? By removing the structure. Making it into a sort of second skin.’ Armani is bold in making innovations and he has never stopped his step. He exerted himself to develop his design around the jacket which was the staring pointing for his career. Armani renewed and redesigned the jacket almost each season. He illustrated that his small but crucial discovery lies in having imagined garment which falls over the body in a surprisingly natural manner. (Giorgio Armani, 1996)
The appearance of jacket offered a new way of dressing for both men and women. Germane Celant (2000) pointed that his jacket was a tool of unstable identity that could adapt itself to any bodily context whatsoever, thus satisfying the emotional and psychological requirements of a femininity tending to the masculine as well as a masculinity that aspired; it situated itself in the area of androgyny.
However, jacket has been created for more than twenty years, but so far it has been widely updating in fashion industry. There is no exaggeration to say that, from mass market to luxury market, the iconic design – jacket existed everywhere of fashion area.
It is widely known that Giorgio Armani began his career by freeing men from the monotonous uniform and offering them varied ways to dress. From years to years, collection to collection, he increasingly designed casual luxury, comfortable but cool menswear on the basis of clear knowing men’s desire. It is commented by Farid Chenoune (1993) that Armani initially designed clothes for sexy, thickest and broad-bottomed men, thereby shifting the center of masculine anatomical interest from the back (in contrast to the earlier fashion for tight, flat pants with their ‘exposed—beam’ look).
As mentioned before, in 1975, Giorgio Armani caused a splash in fashion industry. His shocked-world jacket was endorsed by male fans who clustered round Armani’s fashion concept. Through several years’ exploration and innovation, Armani became one of the best-selling menswear designers in the end of 1970s, but he didn’t became dizzy with the successes already won, he continued to expand his impact in fashion trend, especially in menswear.
In the beginning of 1980s, with the popularization of cinema and television, the whole society has liberate its male sartorial possibilities so they may often coexist and interpenetrate (Anne Hollander, 1994). Armani successfully caught the chance and established cooperated relations with Hollywood’s movie industry. Paul Schrader’s 1980 film American Gigolo put Armani on the public’s radar again. In the movie, actor