Giorgio Armani Turns 90, Plans Major Event in New York

MILAN — Giorgio Armani turns 90 on Thursday but, true to form, the Italian designer is not standing still, gearing up for a major event in New York this fall.

There is no doubt he is closely spearheading the preparations, meticulously mapping out the details — as the years have not been preventing him from either embracing new initiatives around the world or flexing his creative muscle: cue the beautiful and arresting Armani Privé collection unveiled in Paris at the end of June. Only last year, Armani staged another One Night Only event in Venice in September during the city’s international film festival, which drew the likes of Sophia Loren, Jessica Chastain and Kerry Washington.

VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 02: Sydney Sweeney attends Giorgio Armani

Sydney Sweeney at Giorgio Armani‘s One Night Only event in Venice last September. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images)

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In October, the designer is expected to fly to New York to celebrate the opening of his company’s new building on Madison Avenue, entirely redesigned to include residential units, an Armani/Ristorante and the new Giorgio Armani and Armani/Casa boutiques. Coinciding with the unveiling, Armani has decided to parade his namesake brand’s spring 2025 collection in New York and not in Milan. The fashion show is scheduled to take place on Oct. 17 and is to be followed by a party, which again is sure to attract a slew of longtime friends of the designer.

Accordingly, the Armani show will not be part of Milan Fashion Week’s calendar running Sept. 17 to 23, and is disjointed from New York Fashion Week, slated for Sept. 6 to 11. The designer’s fall 2025 collection will return to being shown in Milan in February as usual.

Giorgio Armani Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection at Milan Fashion Week

Giorgio Armani, fall 2024

Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

“Pragmatic and conscientious, the designer has decided to concentrate celebration of this important new opening and his return, after 11 years, to New York into a single event,” said the Armani company in a statement on Tuesday.

The project cements Armani’s close bond with the city and marks a return to New York for the designer, who previously staged one of his One Night Only events in town in 2013. At the time of his last trip, former mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaimed Oct. 24 — the day of the One Night Only event — Giorgio Armani Day. The honor recognized Armani’s longtime relationship with the city, including his contribution to the local economy and support for public schools.

As reported, the event was staged at the SuperPier at Hudson River Park and drew some 700 friends, family, loyal Armani clients, editors and high-caliber celebrities, including Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lauren Hutton and Renée Zellweger, among many others.

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Martin Scorsese, Giorgio Armani and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Courtesy Photo

As for the designer’s milestone birthday, it is being acknowledged by Milano Fashion Library, the most significant fashion library/bookstore in Italy, which will dedicate all its spaces to the designer for an entire week.  Starting from his birthday until July 19, an exhibition will be open to the public for free at the library’s headquarters in Vanzago, a 30-minute drive from Milan.

The exhibition will feature what it bills as “an unprecedented number of publications dedicated to the great designer from 1974, the year of his debut, to the present day.” Armani’s company was actually established in 1975 with his late partner Sergio Galeotti, so the designer is no doubt also working on marking five decades in business next year.

More than 100 books, catalogs, magazines, look books, and Armani videos from around the world will decorate the library’s spaces. These works will also be available for viewing online starting Thursday.

Armani’s own book,  his autobiography “Per Amore [For Love]” published by Rizzoli last year, was an evolution of the illustrated tome published in 2015 that celebrated the 40th anniversary of the designer’s namesake brand.

Giorgio Armani

The cover of Giorgio Armani’s “Per Amore.”

courtesy of Giorgio Armani

It included Armani’s written account of several events that marked his life, including his thoughts on recent world events.

“I chose a title that is both soft and provocative, which is surprisingly representative of my character. I am pragmatic and rational, but my actions all come from the heart,” Armani explained in the book. “That is why the scattered thoughts collected in this book are written ‘out of love’.” He realizes that he may be seen as “composed, stern and, for some, terribly cold,” but he borrows a definition from artist Wassily Kandinsky: “I’m like a piece of ice with a flame burning inside.”

For the love of what, he muses. “Of expression, of vision, of taste, of style” is his response.   

In the book, Armani defines himself as “a man who gets things done, not one who just talks about them” — an understatement of sorts, as the designer, who holds the roles of chairman, chief executive officer and creative director of his namesake company, has built a global fashion group that closed 2022 with sales of 2.35 billion euros, up 16.5 percent compared with 2021, and retail sales turnover estimated to exceed 6.5 billion euros.

However, he believes “each success is a point of departure for a new challenge,” detesting the idea of resting on his laurels.

The development of Armani Casa, formally established in 2000, is one such example, as the designer has steadily and gradually grown this business, now present in 29 countries with about 40 stores around the world in leading cities from Milan and Paris to New York and Tokyo.

Interior design is a sort of couture for the home, the total realization of my lifestyle vision, designed around the person. It’s one of the most important extensions of my global style design,” Armani has told WWD. “I’ve always given great importance to one’s living place, which reflects totally our spirit and sensibility.”

Giorgio Armani

A view of the Armani Hotel in Dubai.

Courtesy Photo

Last year it was revealed that an Armani Hotel will rise in Diriyah, a 300-year-old site located a 15-minute drive from Riyadh, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is expected to be completed in 2026. The area is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site At-Turaif, recognized as one of the world’s foremost mud-brick cities and the valley and lush palm groves of Wadi Hanifah.

The designer’s first hotel bowed in Dubai in 2010 in the Burj Khalifa, followed by another in Milan a year later, in a venture with Dubai-based developer Emaar Properties PJSC that was established in 2005.

In his autobiography, Armani addressed the changes brought about by time. “Growing means adapting the perfect world of ideas to the imperfect world of reality. It takes a lifetime to do so, but you’ll succeed in the end.”

“At this point in my life and career, it is also a way to leave behind a personal legacy and a method on which the Gruppo Armani can base itself in the future, when I am no longer here. Care for the planet, people and the community are the cornerstones of this way of thinking. Without fanfare, without sensationalism. By doing, and nothing more, with the lucidity and the pragmatism that have always set me apart. The world is filled with words, but it is the actions, the facts, that speak.”

And, reaching the nine-decade mark, Armani’s actions have been speaking loud and clear.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Armani!

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