Giorgio Armani

 

The fourth richest Italian person, Giorgio Armani is the quintessential fashion designer: smart, visionary, understated yet impeccably elegant, blessed with a Midas’ touch that turns whatever he bestows his name brand on into gold. Also, his success is so out of proportions in respect to what he actually does that it is perfectly normal to ask whether the fame is only a big joke after all.

Born in 1934 and just a common designer until 1965, Armani first distinguished himself by creating collections for other brands like Cerruti. The enthusiastic reception of his designs led to the founding of his own studio in 1975 – and after that the man’s resume reads like an unending list of hits, that soon spun off into the most diverse fields including music, restaurants, movie costuming, perfumes, shops, eyeglasses and more.

Giorgio Armani’s most iconic creation is the so-called ‘unstructured jacket’, that is a jacket missing its internal paddings and lining, making it more fluid, informal and comfortable. His other trade marks are a not-entirely-unisex-yet-less-gender-differentiated look, and an effort to aim for very basic lines and decorations in his creations. A typical example of this philosophy has been for decades his own look, consisting of just a black t-shirt and simple black trousers.

Equally telling of the refined understatement of Armani’s designs is the house color called greige, actually a midground tone between grey and beige. In his words: “elegance is not to make yourself noticed, but to be memorable”. After his 80th birthday Armani clearly decided to help new young and upcoming designers to attempt an impossible succession to his throne, allowing them the use of some locations and services for free. We wouldn’t bet on seeing any equally successful name anytime soon.