He's the unstoppable powerhouse behind one of the world’s most successful fashion houses. Now 85, Giorgio Armani is working harder than ever to burnish his brand – and secure an independent future.
He is the CEO, founder, chairman, creative director, chief designer and owner of a global brand Bloomberg estimates is worth US$6 billion – and the last of a generation of super-designers, still designing multiple collections under his own name, almost half a century after he started.
Armani more than earned his Outstanding Achievement accolade at The Fashion Awards 2019.
Whether you like his clothes or not, one thing not even his harshest critics can deny is that he is the most influential designer of the modern era because, more than anyone else, Armani has taken the fear out of fashion and democratised it.
Here are some of Armani's most powerful business insights.
- Consistency is key
“I’m not affected by the fickleness of passing fads. Consistency is my main strength.”
- Sleek style
“My style is smart but not too formal, fashionable but not edgy.”
- Power of authenticity
“For influencers to have genuine influence, people need to believe that their opinions are authentic and this can only happen if there’s a respectful relationship with a brand.”
- Take it easy
“We have to slow down. Designer brands cannot operate like fast fashion.”
- Quality over quantity
“We need to be more responsible, producing less but better, in a more ethical way.”
- Fashion longevity
“My clothes are timeless; my items last and are, as such, sustainable. I want to work even more in that direction.”
- Follow your passion
“I feel as energetic and committed to my work as ever, but I’m a realist. My work is my life.”
- Know what you want
“I’ve had many offers over the years and still get many of them, but independence and being in control of all my decisions is essential for me.”
- Be individual
“I can prosper solo. The conglomerates are where personality can get swallowed up.”
- Discover your path
“My company is driven by a very distinctive vision. That’s the Italian way – the value we place on individuality. I am happy to be David to the Goliaths.”
This is how Giorgio Armani created his US$6 billion fashion empire.