How much is Giorgio Armani worth?
|Net Worth:||$8.5 Billion|
|Profession:||Professional Fashion Designer|
|Date of Birth:||July 11, 1934|
Who Is Giorgio Armani
As a classic renaissance man, Giorgio Armani, has taken the world by storm since his early days as a window dresser to now being Italy’s most successful fashion designer with a personal fortune of over $8 billion. The Armani suit with its clean tailored lines became part of American pop culture when actor Richard Gere worn them in the film American Gigolo in 1980.
From Italy With Love
Born on July 11, 1934 in northern Italy to a humble family, Giorgio would spend his early years trying to drown out the sounds of Allied bombing with movies as his family experienced World War 2 firsthand. Armani recounts this being a very painful time in his life as some of his childhood friend’s were killed in the Allied bombing campaigns.
“We were poor and life was tough,” Armani told Harper’s Bazaar. “The cinema in Milan was a refuge-a palace of dreams-and the movie stars seemed so glamorous. I fell in love with the idealized beauty of Hollywood stars.”
Armani has always been curious about the human form especially from an early age when he would “make dolls out of mud with a coffee bean hidden inside” as he told the Guardian. It was only after he finished reading A.J. Cronin’s The Citadel, that Giorgio seriously aspired for a career in medicine. It was this aspiration that lead Armani to enroll at the University of Milan to study medicine.
During the 1950s, he stopped his studies at the University of Milan to enter the army to complete his mandatory military service. Armani fondly recalls that it was military life that led to his first taste of the fashion world. “I was doing my military service and I had 20 days off on vacation in Milan,” Giorgio told Time magazine in an interview.
Into The Fashion World
After Giorgio completed his military service, a friend got him a job at the Italian version of Macy’s – La Rinascente – where he started out assisting the store’s photographer and designing window displays. Having duly impressed the powers-that-be at La Rinascente, Armani was promoted to being a buyer for the store. It was in this position where he gained experience in the international fashion markets by importing goods from India and Japan.
Italian fashion house Nino Cerruti brought Giorgio on board in 1964 to design a men’s line knowing his lack of any formal design training. The line that Armani designed for Nino Cerruti was named the Hitman Label; it was here that Giorgio learned the true rigors of men’s tailoring and discovered his eye for fabrics.
Following his experience as a fashion designer for Nino Cerruti and with the encouragement for his partner Sergio Galeotti, Armani became a freelance designer in 1970. During the early ’70s Giorgio found himself being hired to design lines for as many as ten fashion houses at a time.
In 1973 Giorgio Armani and his partner Sergio Galeotti, formally started the Giorgio Armani line with a runway show at the elite Sala Bianca fashion show in Florence at the Pitti Palace. The runway show featured supple bomber jackets made from leather treated like cloth. The international press went crazy over line that reinvented leather into an everyday fabric.
Feed by the success of his debut line, Giorgio set out to revolutionize the traditional mens suite. Taking his inspiration from Neapolitan tailors who crafted their suits from lighter fabrics to fit the warmer Mediterranean climate, Giorgio started using softer fabrics in all his suits.
The classic Armani suit is defined by the lack of padding and inner lining, a gentle sloping shoulder shape and narrowed lapels, paired with moving the center button down to the level of the lower ribs. The overall look is a suit that when worn loose makes short men look taller and tall men even taller.
A secret that American men learned from the TV series Miami Vice for which Armani provided much of the wardrobe is that an Armani suit jacket when worn by itself, gives the wearer a handsome yet slightly rumpled look.
The Hollywood Effect
Having been captured by magic of tinsel town at an early age, Armani believed that to be truly successful one needed to have a relationship with Hollywood. To that end, Giorgio found the perfect vessel for his suits in actor Richard Gere. Richard Gere worn Armani suits exclusive during the filming for the 1980 film American Gigolo, where his character used them as a tool of refined seduction. Following the release of the film, the Armani suit became the number one status symbol for a whole new generation for young men.
Time magazine in 1982 gave the cover to a smiling Armani, a honor not given to a fashion designer since Christian Dior in the 1940s. During most of the 1980s Armani suits were daily on American television via the hit Tv series Miami Vice where actor Don Johnson wore them exclusively.
Giorgio Armani was the first fashion designer to go approach celebrities to wear his collections starting with Los Angeles Lakers coach Pat Riley in 1988. Due to his generous lending program during the Academy Awards he gained devotees like Michelle Pfeiffer and Jodie Foster.
Armani made headlines with his advertising campaign “Giorgio Armani for Bruce Wayne” that followed the 2008 release of The Dark Knight, where he made-to-measure suits for Christian Bale‘s on-film character Bruce Wayne, forever cementing his place in the Batman mythos.
As one never to miss a beat the 79 year old Giorgio recently designed most of the on-stage outfits for musical superstar Lady Gaga for her Monster Ball Tour and the international record break Born This Way Ball Your.
A Women’s Designer
Pushed by his sister Rosanna, who in their childhood would raid his closet, he designed his first women’s suit in 1975. He re-designed the traditional suit for women that was an unstructured, loose fit that added a masculine flair. In the 1980s due to Armani’s influence women around the globe would take to the fashion of wearing a broad-shouldered, tapered power suit as the new uniform of a work woman.
Former Vogue editor-in-chief Grace Mirabella said “Style without excessive design. Armani dresses busy women who can’t be occupied with themselves.” Vogue named the four classic must-haves for every woman in 1994 as the Chanel suit, the Hermes Kelly bag, the Manolo Blahnik pump, and the Armani jacket.
“Entering into Armani’s world is like landing into the peaceful eye of a typhoon, into the perfect calm, into a style that cannot be shaken by the winds of sensationalism,” the Italian screen legend Sophia Loren once said. “An Armani dress doesn’t give you doubt or uncertainty. It’s an Armani and that’s all you need.”
With reported annual sales of over $3 billion, Armani has over 2,000 stores worldwide making him the largest Italian fashion house internationally. The Armani line offers its traditional fashion pieces, but has expanded into the home goods market and even book publishing.
By 2005 Giorgio had launched the first haute couture line of his career telling In Style magazine “Think how liberating it is for a designer to make one dress, perfectly, to satisfy only one customer.”
Recently Armani has added hotels to his ever-expanding empire, opening them in Dubai and Milan. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Giorgio says, “I like the idea of having built this beautiful empire, but I still like to think of myself as the stable boy.”