One of the most recognizable and wealthiest fashion designers of our time, style icon Giorgio Armani was born just outside of Milan to humble beginnings in 1934. His artistic impulses developed early on attending public school, where he developed a passion for theater and cinema. He initially studied medicine, but gave it up to pursue photography. After completing his national service, he was employed as a window dresser in the historic department store, La Rinascente, Italy’s first ready-to-wear shop. From 1961 to 1970, Armani labored as a designer for legendary fashion house Nino Cerruti. He left to pursue freelance work and in 1974, coupled with Sergio Galeotti, founded Giorgio Armani S.p.A. An initial men’s line was followed by womens wear in 1975, at which time his sister, Rosanna Armani, rounded out the powerhouse design team. Known for crisp, modified lines, Armani’s big break came in 1980 when he costumed the now classic film, “American Gigolo,” and most notably, a dashing young Richard Gere. A designer with a mission and a renowned environmentalist, he was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2002. Classic in style but ever on the forefront, Armani was the first designer to broadcast a haute couture fashion show live on the internet in January 2007.
Over the duration of his illustrious career, he has created a veritable fleet of fragrances that stress the character of the individual and which have graced famous men and women alike. Men’s colognes include: Armani Code, Armani Mania, the omnipotent, Acqua Di Gio, Attitude, Armani Eau Pour Homme and the celebrated, Emporio Armani for Him. Perfumes for women include: Sensi, Acqua Di Gio, Armani Mania Women, Armani Code Women, Emporio Armani for Her, and Emporio Armani Diamonds, fronted by singer Beyonce Knowles. Privé is a fragrance for both him and her and comes in several different incarnations, including scented candles and amber spray. Armani’s retail presence can be felt throughout the world, most notably including 14 Emporio Armani stores and Armani Jeans cafes. Emporio’s flagship shop graces the streets of Milan. An avid investor in the fine dining industry, there is an Armani Bar in Hong Kong and his two celebrated ventures, NoBu & Prive, can be found globally. To further the breadth of his international star, Armani owns the bookshop, Armani Libri, and the florist, Armani Fiori, in addition to the confectionery company, Armani Dolci. The world’s first Armani Hotel will be housed within the lower 37 floors of the Burj Dubai skyscraper in Dubai. In early 2007, Armani announced that he was prepared to sell his legendary namesake trademarks.
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