Armani founded his fashion emporium in 1975 after dropping out of college and making a living as a department store salesman. Soon enough, it was obvious he had an unparalleled talent for fashion design, and he decided to open his first shop in Milan in 1981. Giorgio is still the only owner of his haute couture company, which has never slowed down in sales and popularity. Here are eight interesting facts about the fashion house and the designer you might have never heard of!
Number Eight: Giorgio Armani’s Dream Career
If he had a chance to start over and choose a career, he wouldn’t pick fashion again. He would become a filmmaker. Giorgio calls himself a “frustrated actor, director, producer and even lighting cameraman.” He owes a lot to cinema, which contributed to his international success after dressing Richard Gere in American Gigolo and Robert DeNiro in The Untouchables. His relationship with Hollywood was fundamental for the brand’s growth in the U.S.
Number Seven: Armani Popularized Bomber Jackets
Bomber jackets were created during WWI to keep pilots warm, since airplanes at the time didn’t have an enclosed cockpit. Armani’s first ever menswear collection released under his own name was a line of updated bomber jackets in 1970.
Number Six: He’s a Sports Lover
Giorgio Armani is a huge sports aficionado. His favorite soccer team is Inter Milan and has previously dressed the Chelsea FC. The firm also dressed Italy in 1994’s World Cup.
Number Five: They Make Edibles
Fashion goes beyond apparel. Armani sells tasty yet elegant chocolates (as well as cookies, jams, honey and other sweet edibles) meticulously packaged and made in Florence with the best quality cocoa. His confectionery, Armani Dolci, includes special, limited edition chocolates for occasions such as Valentine’s Day and Ramadan.
Number Four: First of its Kind to Expand to China
Armani was one of the very first fashion brands to expand to the Chinese market, in the early ‘90s—exactly ten years after making its move to the U.S. In 2010, Armani became the first major fashion brand to open both a flagship store and e-commerce site in the Asian country.
Number Three: Alitalia’s Flight Attendant Uniforms
In the early ’90s, Armani designed the cabin crew uniforms for Italian airline Alitalia. In 1995, the New York times noted the airline’s discrepancy between its fashion choices and the actual quality of the service provided, complaining that Alitalia was known for its “trendy aircraft interiors and flight attendant uniforms by designers like Giorgio Armani, rather than for service or punctuality.” Armani’s uniforms were replaced in 1998.
Number Two: He ‘Created’ Milan
Not that GA founded the city of Milan, but the was responsible for the city’s rise as the world’s fashion capital. Milan has been an important textile industry in Italy for centuries, but it was Armani who placed the city on the international map as a leading fashion center. Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Moschino would follow him.
Number One: Minimum BMI Required
In 2006, Armani was the first brand/designer to ban models from participating in his shows if their Body Mass Index was lower than 18. He was determined to keep anorexia away from the runways as well as help prevent the issue outside the fashion industry altogether: “I have never liked these excesses and I have always condemned them. We need to all work together against anorexia.” We hope you enjoyed our list about Armani!