Giorgio Armani - Part I

June 10, 2010

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A young Italian drowning out the sound of war bombing.

Fashion Designer Giorgio Armani was born on July 11, 1934, into a humble family, in Piacenza, a small village about 50 miles south of Milan, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Little Giorgio grew up in a hard working family of five. Not having too much money to move around Giorgio assisted the local public school.

When he was a boy, his country, Italy, was caught in the tremendous realities of the Second World War. An incident Armani always recalls as "traumatic" happened to his sister and him while they were children. They were playing with other friends outside their houses and they suddenly became the target of machine gun fire from a plane flying over their heads. After losing two young friends to a war bomb he managed to throw his sister down in a ditch covering her with his own body. They were civil CHILDREN!!!

Fortunately Armani and his entire family survived the war but they had to move to Milan where their parents began to rebuild their life. It was a very difficult task in such a great, tough and hard city, infinitely different from their little town of Piacenza. They were humble workers and strangers in a city decidedly marked by class division.

When recalling those days Armani says that he had little possibilities to make choices about his future life.And he also says he was immersed in a society of little open-mindedness. "If you were a man you had to be a notary, a lawyer, or a doctor," he affirms. Due to these "rules", and considering he was fascinated with the human body, he began to be interested in medicine. He enrolled in the medical school at the University of Bologna, where he studied for two years to become a doctor. However, when he discovered that the sight of blood made him weak, Armani realized he couldn't go on with this decision, meanwhile he began to develop a love for the theatre and cinema.

In 1953, young Armani was called to fulfill his military obligations. He accepted this commitment eagerly; hoping it would represent for him a chance to clear his head. He wanted to take a new direction in his life. He began with enthusiasm but he quickly realized that war life was not the same legendary and romantic one he had watched in the movies. He felt frustrated not figuring what to do with his life. Taking a short break from the service he decided to visit Milan.

This sole decision changed the rest of his life.

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