Giorgio Armani - Part II


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June 10, 2010

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In Milan, the same one of his childhood, where his family had struggled so much, he met a friend of his who eventually was working at La Rinascente, Milan's largest department store. He proposed Armani to take a fashion job in this store. Armani always said that, after the meeting, he had become a believer in destiny. It was the year 1957 when he took his first job in the fashion world at La Rinascente.

This Milanese department fashion store was established after the First World War and has done much to promote higher standards of Italian fashion design. Its name, La Rinascente (Rebirth) was not "any name", it was conceived by the Italian poet Gabriele D'Annunzio and it had a particular resonance in the 1930s. The company was committed to promote the domestic consumption of Italian products, going towards national self-sufficiency (autarchy) under Mussolini, and after the Second World War this name recovered its sense. La Rinascente redoubled its efforts to influence Italian consumer taste. Since then the company commissioned leading and famous fashion designers to design aesthetic mass-produced goods. Armani worked briefly as an assistant photographer, before accepting a promotion to this store's style office, where he imported products from India, Japan, and the US. He was a buyer for the company from 1957 to 1964.

Meanwhile he began fashion designing for Cerrutti and Hugo Boss. He joined Nino Cerruti as a fashion designer from 1961 to 1970. In 1964, Armani designed a line of men's wear clothing.

In 1970, encouraged by his partner Sergio Galeotti, Armani left Cerruti and became a freelance fashion designer and consultant.

In 1973-1974, he was acclaimed, at the prestigious Sala Bianca fashion show in Florence, where he presented bomber jackets that treated leather as an everyday fabric. He was beginning to set his own style, using materials in unexpected contexts and combinations. It came to be known as a defining characteristic of the "Armani's style". Always in partnership with his good friend Galeotti (who died in 1985), Armani gradually adapted his fashion designs for women?s clothing and added a women's wear line in 1975 when their great adventure began. They opened a small shop in Milan starting their own company named Giorgio Armani S.p.A., and founded the Armani label. His sister Rosanna Armani teamed up with him as head of communication activities of the company.

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