The empire of Giorgio Armani

Fancy some fashion-branded sweets, a relaxing massage with custom blended essential oils, an aperitivo with a view over Milan or just a pair of slick jeans? For quite some time now fashion brands have been offering a whole lot more than hip clothes. But while brands like Diesel, Acne, Missoni or even Zara have limited their production to homeware, Giorgio Armani has been taking a completely different approach. From the humble beginnings back in the 70s, Mr. Armani has made the phrase “from spoon to city” his own, and has built an exceptionally unique empire.

Giorgio Armani was born in 1934 in Piacenza, Italy and has entered the world of fashion in 1965, initially working for La Rinascente, and later for Cerruti and Sicons. The latter collaboration, which resulted in Armani by Sicons line of clothing, will lead him to create his own brand – Giorgio Armani – in 1975 together with his partner Sergio Galeotti. With a clear vision of what his brand should embody, Giorgio Armani has through the years created a dozen different clothing lines, opened over 250 shops around the world, developed a series of beauty products, perfumes, jewellery, watches, homeware collections, hotels and restaurants.

But while sheer breath of his work might leave us speechless, one must wonder what is the common thread that keeps it all together. What does a luxury spa in the centre of Milan have in common with simple, de-structured jackets that have become Mr. Armani’s statement pieces? The answer is apparently simple. Since the very beginning of his career Giorgio Armani’s products have all been designed with a clear, neat style that hasn’t changed in more than 35 years. His products seem to stand the test of time because they are uniquely timeless and follow a single, pure inspiration: Armani himself.

But whereas this may be true for his clothes, declining the same empowering, classically elegant lifestyle on furniture, interiors, restaurants and hotels might not be as easy to accomplish. In fact, while we appreciate the silent luxury hidden in the impeccable sartorial quality of his clothes, his furniture, lavish homeware or even the extravagantly richness of his Milanese hotel seem to privilege style over substance. Even though fashion and design often speak the same language, the core of each discipline is grounded on a set of completely different rules, making it difficult to successfully hop from one practice to another, even for a grand master of Italian design like Giorgio Armani.

Rujana Rebernjak 
Backstage images by Matteo Cherubino / Lifestyle images by Armani, Gionata Xerra and Stefano Guindani 
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Depicting Fragrances

Depicting Fragrances

Design has always been a fundamental element in the process of creating a new perfume. The bottle, which contains the essence, very often becomes its symbol; the image that gets fixed in people’s visual memory and turns itself into a key factor for establishing and furthering its identity.

With Acqua di Giò in 1996, Giorgio Armani contributed to change the fashion approach of contemporary men, who are more and more focused on the details of their personal and casual style. After sixteen years, the renowned brand presents a new fragrance: Acqua di Giò Essenza, a more intense and sensual version of the original scent, which owes its appearance to Alberto Morillas’ nose, and embodies the spirit and the characteristics of the 21st century man.

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera through Giancarla Ghisi’s words – accompanied by Karin Kellner‘s pencil – retraced the main steps of the history of masculine perfume. 2DM’s illustrator, with her delicate and romantic mark along with her peculiar sensitivity, borrows the key elements of master perfumers to depict some of the best-known essences ever. Jasmine flowers, rosemary branches, violets, lemons and bergamots surrounded the bottles of Dior‘s Eau De Savage and Issey Miyake‘s L’Eau d’Issey, both of them dominated by the new scent of Armani.

Once again the expressive power of Karin’s drawings joins the allure of perfume world, giving birth to a marriage with a perfect and total harmony.

From the Bureau – Image Karin Kellner

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Acqua for Life


Acqua for Life

Acqua for Life is an initiative by Giorgio Armani in partnership with Green Cross International, aiming to collect clean water to Ghana and Bolivia, the two countries included in the project. This is the second year that Armani is taking actions in this specific cause and with two days left before the ‘expiration date’, the Acqua for Life Facebook page got almost 362 500 likes, which in itself means over 18 million litres of clean drinking water. The minimum quantity of water that will be donated is 40 million litres, the final result of the 2011 Water Race. Through 100 litres of donated water for each bottle of Acqua di Giò or Acqua di Gioia and 50 litres for each like on Facebook, they hope to take the Water Race even further and go above last year’s numbers.

Organisations performing charitable actions which not necessary are linked to the expectations of society could be called corporate philanthropy and should be separated from Corporate Social Responsibility, even though the line between them often is seen as fine, and even more so – hard to define. Whether we are talking about one action or the other, it gives a boost to the social image of a company and adds to what many of today’s highly sensible and conscious customers are looking for. We have seen fashion companies using their power to raise awareness before, and thanks to social media and a generally interested and involved ‘audience’ it is an industry that really can make an impact. Campaigns such as these do not only do what they are set to. Hopefully they create circles on the water, increasing the attentiveness for other issues regarding society, environment and development.

At the moment, Italy is the leading country, leaving both Denmark and USA behind, together with all the other countries taking part in the project. Even though it’s not the single contest but the gathered efforts that will make a difference, today, Milan is a winner, leading the Acqua for Life Water race 2012 to its goal.

Lisa Olsson Hjerpe – Image courtesy of Acqua for Life – Armani

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