Officially the most successful Italian designer ever (his fortune is estimated at five billion pounds!), Signor Giorgio Armani celebrates his 80th birthday today.
As famous for underpants, watches and accessories as for his sharp suits, his has been the style of choice for generations of stars of music, sport and the silver screen, politicians, dignitaries and even the Milanese police force.
Facts about Signor Armani:
- He was born in the northern Italian town of Piacenza, of Armenian and Italian descent.
- After military service as a young man, he became a window dresser at La Rinascente department store in Milan.
- Having worked on a freelance basis for myriad designers including Zegna, Cerruti and Loewe, the first pieces he designed under his own name were a series of leather bomber jackets in 1970.
- While building his fashion empire, he also designed costumes for more than one hundred films including American Gigolo and The Untouchables.
- When in 1975 he brought out a womenswear line using men's fabrics, he set the wheels in motion for the "power dressing" look that became synonymous with the 80s.
- Among his many commissions, he designed the costume worn by Spanish bullfighter Cayetano Rivera Ordóñez, the suits for the England football team (twice), and the cover of a book of gospels for the Pope.
Giorgio Armani (born 11th July 1934)