“We are required to churn out ideas and collections with enormous speed, but invention and quality take time. My solution is continuity: I evolve at my own pace, because the women and men I dress expect this from me, not just ideas that are only good for the catwalk. Fashion once again needs to find a more human and real rhythm,” said Gorgio Armani in a 2015 interview with GQ to mark the 40th anniversary of his Giorgio Armani brand.
Launching the brand when he was 40 and determined not to “settle”, Armani and his partner Sergio Galeotti created a revolution in the fashion industry in the 1970s.
Innovation has been at the heart of Armani’s design philosophy, something that is apparent right from the early days of the brand. The designer can be credited with restructuring the traditional business suit, a stiff and boxy ensemble that was as unfashionable as it was severe. He did away with the stiffness of design by eliminating the shoulder pads in the jacket, and the trousers were given a fuller, looser shape. Armani had created a softer, sexier silhouette for the modern man and his designs were sought after by everyone from architects and media-types to actors (Richard Gere being one of the first Armani wearing men) and sports stars.
The brand’s collections are characterised by clean lines and greys, plus browns and greens – the warm earthy colours that dot the landscape near his hometown of Piacenza in Italy.
A|X Armani Exchange
A|X Armani Exchange was launched in the United States in 1991. The label was created to appeal to the sensibilities of the cool kids of the 90s, those who lived in big cities and had a bold self-identity.
A|X collections are young, hip, accessible and are made up of stylish jeans, tops, t-shirts and casual shirts. Accessories include sunglasses, shoes, belts and bags.
In 2014, Armani bought out the remaining 50 percent stake owned by his licensing partner, to wholly own the Armani Exchange brand and bring it into the fold.
For Spring/Summer 2017, A|X has gone punk, referencing street style culture and military styles and borrowing elements from Japanese culture. The vibe is metropolitan and the looks functional, which, according to the brand, mixes “activewear with a whole array of sophisticated references.”
Keeping to its core identity, the colours are muted. Look out for dazzling whites, navy blues and black, all enlivened with pops of cobalt, red and even pink.
Image courtesy: Armani Exchange/Facebook