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Explore the brand's distinctive heritage, origins and DNA through a few deeply rooted pillars espoused by Giorgio Armani - moments and aspects of The Armani Story that continue to influence the designer’s sophisticated aesthetic to this day: The Genesis, The Sketch and The Jacket.
Determination, vision, a fiercely uncompromising stance: Giorgio Armani’s recipe for success was there from the very beginning yet, he stumbled into fashion by pure chance and his path to fashion stardom and global influence is quite unique. While other contemporaries had tutelage from an early age and usually a penchant for couture, Mr. Armani has never made a mystery of being an autodidact with a strong aesthetic sensibility who entered the fashion system as an adult and subsequently learned everything from scratch while working.
In 1957 Mr. Armani was hired at the Milanese department store la Rinascente and quickly climbed his way up from window dresser to assistant buyer. His sensitivity to fabric led to the pivotal encounter with Mr. Nino Cerruti, who decided to give him a chance as a designer. Through another chance encounter in the early Seventies he met Sergio Galeotti, an architect with great entrepreneurial skills, who immediately spotted Armani's talents and persuaded him to open a design office in Milan. Giorgio Armani led the vanguard of a whole new breed of Italian designers with his unique vision, and success ensued fast.
Throughout Giorgio Armani’s career, there are a few staple items that he has always had in his toolbox to help communicate his vision. Perhaps the most important of them all is the sketch. Often with a pencil and crayons, sometimes more or less detailed, but never computer initiated or one sketch less unique than the next.
In the early years, it was quite common for Mr. Armani to sketch on a black background, even directly on fabric, with stitched pieces of sample textiles and written instructions on top, but as time went by, the images became more elaborate and less busy. And as the brand grew into forays of beauty, frames, furniture, timepieces, etc. – the sketch has always stayed the centerpiece and go to tool to initiate it all.
“I chose not to look at what was happening around me, from a fashion viewpoint. I started each season with a blank sheet of paper.”Giorgio Armani
Ever since the founding of his label in 1975, Mr. Armani has afforded men and women an elegant and sophisticated version of the suit. In fact, one of the first defining moments in Armani history was the launch of an unlined and unconstructed man's jacket.
Completely loose and informal, the blazer offered sensual hints of the body beneath, marking a major departure from, on the one hand, the stuffy suits of the straitjacketed men in the 1960s, and, on the other, the sartorial abandon of the hippie generation. The rumpled jacket was an immediate success, and a new breed of tailoring was born.
“My vision was clear: I believed in getting rid of the artifice of clothing. I believed in neutral colors.”Giorgio Armani