News & Runway

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Giorgio Armani

image: imaxtree

image: imaxtree

If there’s one thing we know about Giorgio Armani, it’s that messing with him comes with serious consequences. Case in point, when Cathy Horyn knocked his couture show, she was subsequently told in a letter from Armani that she was banned from attending his ready-to-wear runway show. Given his status as one of the world’s preeminent barons of class and sophistication, it’s somewhat surprising that he has been known to take such a defensive approach. Here’s a look at 10 other things that you may not have known about the famed Italian fashion designer.

  1. He considers his skills above those of many of his peers, including Prada. “It’s very easy to do a V-neck dress with a bold print. It’s more difficult to make a suit or a jacket look new. It’s easier to freewheel.”
  2. He is not on board with Stefano Pilati succeeding him when he retires, telling The New York Times, “Pilati’s already doing Armani. So the solution is to remain here while I can and create a group of people that I can trust, with one person by my side.”
  3. The designer attributes much of his success to his fluid designs, capable of hiding women’s flaws. “I’ve changed the way people look, definitely,” he told Interview. “My success back then was also owed to career women who maybe had big legs or ample thighs, who felt well-protected by my fluid clothing that hid their flaws.”
  4. Armani sees himself as creative, but he also doesn’t believe in designing for show (and has knocked fellow Italian designers like Dolce & Gabbana for designing clothes he deems “clownish”). “You can be creative in different ways,” he told BoF. “You can be creative without worrying about business or industrial issues, like an artist, who doesn’t care about selling. Then there’s a kind of creative who works alongside the industry. That is the American model of business and I embraced it myself as a philosophy and a way of working. Then, as now, I could not see the point of doing creative work for its own sake.”
  5. The designer recently came under fire for a remark that some deemed homophobic. “A homosexual man is a man 100%. He does not need to dress homosexual. When homosexuality is exhibited to the extreme — to say, ‘Ah, you know I’m homosexual’ —  that has nothing to do with me. A man has to be a man.”
  6. When discussing his work with Lady Gaga, he showed off his business acumen, telling CNN, “Lady Gaga is a laugh. Lady Gaga is someone the younger generation loves very much. It is my strong conviction that no one will ever dress in an outfit of Lady Gaga’s. But maybe they will wear a pair of jeans made by the same man who has created a costume for Lady Gaga.”
  7. Unlike some of his contemporaries, like Valentino, Armani tends to keep things low-key. According to Bon Appétit, he spends Christmas at home in Milan where his family dines on “stuffed chicken with mustard, and tortelli alla piacentina smothered in butter and Parm, just like his mother made.” The tortelli require “a delicate hand,” Armani admitted, “because you have to take them out of the boiling water one by one.” He does, however, always indulge in dessert, which according to the magazine, usually takes “the form of panettone cut into small pieces and served with cream or chocolate.”
  8. The designer’s lack of exhibitionism translates to many other aspects of his life, including his yacht Maìn. He told SuperYacht World that he did not want his yacht “weighed down by that dazzling white enamel that can be seen from far away, making you exclaim, ‘There’s so-and-so’s boat.'” Instead, he opted for a green yacht, which he “saw as a way of camouflaging it.”
  9. Armani has dressed more famous faces than we could even attempt to name, but among his most memorable were two men. “Matt and Ben gave me one of my first indelible ‘Hollywood’ memories. I dressed them for their first Academy Awards ceremony, when they won the Oscar for Good Will Hunting. They were so exuberant on the red carpet. They were beaming like little boys, saying, ‘Thanks for the tuxes, Giorgio!'” the designer told New York magazine.
  10. When Madonna took a spill down a flight of stairs while performing at this year’s Brit Awards, she was wearing an Armani look. The designer, however, put all of the blame on Madonna. “Madonna, as we all know, is very difficult,” he told the AP. Adding that she knew that her bullfighter’s cape was constructed to be secured with a hook closure, but she insisted on it being tied.