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Giorgio Armani is more than just a designer – he’s an institution, an icon and a multinational, billion-dollar brand. Armani was born in 1934 in Piacenza, Northern Italy. He spent his formative years not in fashion but studying medicine at university and completing his national service. After working as a buyer for Milanese department store La Rinascente, he scored his first break in 1964 when he was hired by Nino Cerruti to design a menswear line. Several years later in 1975 he set up the Giorgio Armani label. His signature unstructured jackets for both men and women knocked the stuffing out of traditional tailoring and from the late 70s, his clothes became a uniform for the upwardly mobile. Men loved his relaxed suits and muted colour palette whilst women admired the androgyny and modern elegance. Giorgio was one of the first designers to explore celebrity endorsement, dressing Richard Gere in the film American Gigolo and appearing on the cover of Time magazine himself in 1982. The brand now encompasses six major fashion lines and has diversified into bed linen, chocolates and even hotels. It will no doubt continue to increase its global stature with quiet confidence, which in turn helps Giorgio’s personal projects for disadvantaged children in the global AIDS campaign.


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