Armani (Est. 1975) The Armani business, established as an Italian fashion house in 1975 by Giorgio Armani is credited with pioneering red carpet fashion. By 2001, Giorgio was acclaimed as the most successful designer Italy produced, with an annual turnover of $1.6 billion and a personal fortune of $8.1 billion as of 2017.
Armani designs, manufactures, distributes and sells haute couture, ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes, watches, jewelry, accessories, eyewear, cosmetics and home interiors. The brand sells these products under several labels: Giorgio Armani Privé, Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, EA7|Emporio Armani, Armani Collezioni, AJ|Armani Jeans, Armani Junior, and AX|Armani Exchange.
Giorgio Armani is associated with Emaar Properties, a chain of luxury hotels and resorts in locations including Milan, Paris, New York, London, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul, and Dubai.
The company also operates a range of cafés worldwide including bars and nightclubs.
Giorgio Armani also designs and offers products for babies, toddlers and teenagers. When he came up with the label he called Armani Junior in 1979, he further expanded the idea and created a separate label within the line called, Armani Baby. The junior lines consists of baby clothing and accessories as well as T-shirts, pullovers, suits, shoes, hats, shirts, belts, bags, underwear and accessories for children and teenagers. This Armani line is often viewed as the direct competitor of the Italian luxury brand Versace’s Young Versace.
Giorgio Armani was born in 1934 and grew up in the northern Italian town of Piacenza. Armani aspired to a career in medicine and began a university course. In 1953, after two years of studies, he was called to military service which included working in a military hospital. The experience convinced him that he was not called to become a doctor.
After he was discharged from the military, he found a job as a window dresser at La Rinascente, a department store in Milan. He went on to become a buyer for the men’s wear department where he gained valuable experience in fashion industry marketing.
In the mid-1960s Armani moved to the Nino Cerutti company and designed men’s wear there. His skills were in demand, and for the next decade, while continuing to work for Cerutti, Armani also freelanced, contributing designs to as many as ten manufacturers at a time.
In 1966 Armani met architect Sergio Galeotti. Galeotti, eleven years Armani’s junior, moved to Milan to be with him. Galeotti had great confidence in Armani’s talent and encouraged him to produce his own collection instead of designing for others.
In 1975 the pair founded Giorgio Armani SpA with an initial investment of approximately ten thousand dollars part of it derived from the sale of their Volkswagen.
Over more than four decades, Armani has marketed its name on products from chocolate (Armani/Dolci) to flowers (Armani/Fiori) to furniture, home collections (Armani/Casa) and everything in-between. Armani watches are included in the Emporio Armani line.
These watches offer traditional elegance, fused with modern design elements. Collections are available for almost every budget.
As part of the Armani Group, Emporio Armani brings high fashion to the world of timepieces. Emporio Armani focuses on modern trends. Many items included in the Emporio Armani collections are either directly designed or influenced by Giorgio Armani himself.
An Emporio Armani watch is a modish watch which means that its quality and craftsmanship are going to be below that of a premium brand such as Rolex. However the few negative comments that do arise about the timepieces are usually aimed more at the fashion watch industry in general rather than complaints about the watches themselves.
One reason for this is that they are among the best Chinese made watches. Owners also appreciate that the bracelets are nicely made. Some owners have stated that Seiko, Citizen or Victorinox timepieces may have better watch movements but sell in the same price range with only minimal differences.
Emporio Armani oversees the designs of the watches in their collection, but they have outsourced their manufacturing responsibilities to The Fossil Group that has several manufacturing facilities in Hong Kong. Several other manufacturing facilities in China are also used for their Armani’s licensed watch brands with a growing presence in Switzerland for high-end Swiss-made watches.
Emporio Armani watches are one of the few licensed ‘fashion watch’ brands to have turned to Swiss-made watches as part of their relationship with The Fossil Group which distributes the watches directly for the brand or through their own distribution centers.
The price of an Emporio Armani watch is dependent on three factors: 1) The collection to which the timepiece belongs, its movements, the materials used in its manufacturing; 2) The location where a buyer purchases the timepiece from the manufacturer; and 3) if precious metals are used in the design of the watch.
Entry-level collections from Emporio Armani begin at $150. These are basic timepieces with minimal features. The average timepiece from Emporio Armani is priced between $325 and $400. These are well-rounded timepieces and some watches in these collections still feature quartz movements.
Premium watches are priced above $1,100. These watches typically feature leather straps, offer Swiss-made automatic movements, and may include sport watch features. There will usually be some combination of rose or yellow gold with stainless steel on these watches.
Collectors rate the quality of timepieces based weight and durability but, in the case of Emporio Armani watches, one is also purchasing a top-quality fashion item. Armani is a name that represents some of the best products the fashion world offers.
In the early 1980s, the company signed an agreement with L’Oréal to create perfumes and in 1982 introduced Emporio Underwear, Swimwear, and Accessories. A new store was opened in Milan for the Emporio line, followed by the first Giorgio Armani boutique.
At the end of 2015, there were 2,983 points of sale, comprised of 165 Giorgio Armani stores, 338 Emporio Armani stores, 754 Armani Collezioni stores, 238 A|X Armani Exchange stores, 880 AJ Armani Jeans stores, 198 Armani Junior stores and 56 Armani/Casa stores in more than 60 countries across the globe.
In 2000, on the occasion of his twenty-fifth anniversary as a designer, the Guggenheim Museum in New York mounted an exhibition of Armani’s work. The show later traveled to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and then to Berlin.
In a February 2017 article that appeared in Women’s Wear Daily, Armani announced a revised brand strategy. He decided to cease the Armani Collezioni and Armani Jeans brands and use only the Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and A|X Armani Exchange names. The new strategy becomes effective starting with the spring 2018 season.
“There was too much confusion with so many collections,” the designer said. “Times have changed and we have to evolve.”