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History of: Armani

Known for his clean, structured lines, Giorgio Armani is famed for redefining the concept of tailoring. From red-carpet fashion to one-off haute couture pieces, the designer’s exquisite eye for detail and bold, confident silhouettes have confirmed his reputation as one of Italy’s greatest fashion exports.
Follow our timeline of his colourful career, a journey that spans over half a century, from humble department store assistant to member of the fashion elite.
27 Sep 2019


1934 - On the 11th July, Giorgio Armani is born in the city of Piacenza in northern Italy. 

1957 - Having completed his military service, Armani drops out of the University of Piacenza where he was studying medicine, to pursue a career in fashion. After initially being employed as a window dresser, he is appointed as a Merchandiser and Buyers’ Assistant for the famous Milanese department store La Rinascente

1964 - After seven years in this position, he decides to move away from buying and re-train in fashion design, working in the atelier of the house of Cerruti under Nino Cerruti. 


1974 - Having mastered the art of men’s tailoring under the guidance of Cerruti, Giorgio Armani joins forces with friend and business associate Sergio Galeotti to launch his own label, Giorgio Armani S.P.A. The designer’s first ready-to-wear collection – a menswear line – debuts the same year, followed shortly by a womenswear line, which is described by the industry as “revolutionary”. 

1976 - Giorgio takes his next big fashion step and signs an exclusive deal with Barneys department store in New York, officially launching his clothing line into the US marketplace. 

1979 - Armani expands his fashion empire with new ranges including Armani Swimwear and the Giorgio Armani Accessories collection. This is the year he also unveils his Armani Junior label, a collection of designs for babies, toddlers and teenagers. 


1980 – While his designs are hugely popular in Europe, Armani doesn’t make its full presence in America until 1980. Actor Richard Gere generated valuable publicity for the brand by wearing Armani to a high-profile movie premier, and soon many top Hollywood stars would be wearing Armani on the red carpet. 

1981 – Giorgio Armani extends his fashion offering with more affordable diffusion lines, Armani Jeans and Emporio Armani. This year also marks the launch of the designer’s trademark logo, the GA initials with imperial eagle.

 1982 – Giorgio’s talent and success is recognised and documented when he appears on the cover of Time magazine; only the second fashion designer to make the coveted appearance, after Christian Dior.

1995 – This is the year that Giorgio branches out his eponymous brand into fragrance. He launches Acqua di Gio EDT, a scent that remains one of the most popular colognes for men worldwide.


2000 – In recognition of his contribution to fashion, the designer is celebrated by the Guggenheim Museum in New York with a retrospective of his work, displaying iconic designs spanning the last 25 years. He is the first living designer to be exhibited by the museum.

2005 – Giorgio responds to demand for elite, bespoke fashion pieces by launching Armani Privé, the haute couture collection.

2007 – In a move forward for fashion and communication, Giorgio’s Armani Privé spring / summer collection is broadcast worldwide via MSN, making him the first clothing designer to stream an haute couture fashion show live on the internet. 

2009 – The Armani brand is expanded, creating innovative concepts in hotel design. The first hotel is unveiled in the world’s largest skyscraper in Dubai and subsequently in Milan; both interiors focused on elegance, harmony and the Armani lifestyle. 

2014 – The world-renowned fashion designer celebrates his 80th birthday, and subsequently the 40th year of his iconic label, of which he remains the sole independent shareholder to this day. 

2019 - Giorgio Armani stands as one of the richest men in fashion. As of his 85th birthday this year, Forbes estimated he was worth $9.3 Billion.

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