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Giorgio Armani

Learn about fashion designer Giorgio Armani in this Howcast video with expert Nancy Deihl.


Giorgio Armani’s one of the most prestigious brands in fashion. The brand produces lines all the way from Armani Prive as the couture level all the way down to Armani jeans. Giogio Armani is high end ready to wear and Collezioni is ready to wear slightly less expensive and Armani.

Giorgio Armani himself was born outside of Milan in 1934. The company remains based in Milan. He studied medicine, but never really worked in medicine and instead found a job at (?) the most important fashion store in Italy in 1957 where he did visual merchandising and was a buyer for the store.

And he caught the eye of a men’s wear manufacturer, Nino Cerutti, who hired him to design a wholesale men’s wear line called the Hitman where he stayed for eight years. An important milestone in Armani’s career was the 1980 film, American Gigolo in which Richard Gere had an Armani wardrobe that received almost as much attention as the film itself. It really put Armani on the map and made him into a household name.

Concurrent with the film, Armani’s designs were featured in boutiques like Barney’s and also high end department stores like Sak’s. So, people that had loved Richard Gears clothes in the film could go and buy Armani clothes themselves. In fact, Armani opened an office in Los Angeles to be closer to Hollywood clients.

His suits in particular were really favored by men and women in the creative industries. The distinguishing feature of Armani clothes and Armani suits in particular is that it’s a relaxed tailoring. He actually figured out different ways of doing things. He took away a lot of the under structure of men’s tailoring to make the suits softer, make them more body conscious.

Characters on the 1980s TV series, Miami Vice also wore a lot of Armani. Armani jeans flourished as part of the whole designer jean culture and fragrances and eye wear were introduced. Both of which have been very important to the brand. Giorgio Armani has also done many other things including design soccer uniforms and flight attendants uniforms for Alitalia.

What distinguishes Giorgio Armani’s designs in addition to their relaxed tailoring is a unique color palette. He uses a lot of really interesting neutrals kind of mushroomy grays and navy blues that are so dark they’re almost black. Never anything harsh, but always very subtle and kind of mysterious colors. People say that once you wear Armani everything else seems uncomfortable.

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