In the words of Giorgio Armani himself, an end-user does not care if your brand is small or big; what matters to them is the quality of your product—in this case, fashion garment—that you have hanging on the rail in your store. With this understanding, Giorgio Armani’s brand has built a foundation that turned into an empire that many other fashion brands today now look forward to emulating.
In this article, we’ll look at the basis of the Giorgio Armani fashion brand. We’ll look back at the history and what seems to be the solid base of the brand so far.
- Who is Giorgio Armani?
- Giorgio Armani—The Origin
- Giorgio Armani—Brand Expansion
- Existing Giorgio Armani Fashion Line and Sub-brands
- Discontinued Giorgio Armani Fashion Line and Sub-brands
- Other None-Apparel Giorgio Armani Fashion Sub-Brands
Without much ado, let’s delve into the business. We’ll begin by looking into the life of Giorgio Armani himself.
Who is Giorgio Armani?
A man was born in the northern part of Italy, specifically in Piacenza, in 1934. His father was a shipping manager, and together with his siblings, they faced the tough times of War War II with their town withstanding a series of bomb blasts. According to her sister, Rosanna, Armani spent forty days in the hospital when a flare burned him. This incident accounts for the slight burn you may notice on his face. He later developed a liking for human anatomy, and he enrolled in medical school at Piacenza University. He did that for two years before he dropped out to join the military.
Armani got a twenty-days leave in the military and spent those days working as a window dresser until 1964 when Nino Cerruti took an interest in him and employed him as a fashion designer. It was there at Nino Cerruti’s fashion house that he got to meet Sergio Galeotti—a meeting that would lay the foundation for a life-long partnership. Sergio—identifying Armani’s talent—encouraged him to start working as a freelance designer for others as well, which Armani did. After many years of working, they, together, started working as partners and starting the company, which we knew today to be Giorgio Armani’s fashion brand, in July 1957.
Giorgio Armani — The Origin
It all started in July 1957, and that same year, Giorgio Armani, with Sergio Galeotti as his partner, launched their first-ever menswear collection. In the second year, they launched the womenswear collection. The launch of both collections gains a public audience and acceptance. The success of these collections can be traced down to the brand’s philosophy shared by Giorgio Armani. He shared that “If you want to create something exceptional, you’ll need to learn how to relentlessly focus on the small details.” They carried on these principles for many years. The fame grew significantly with the release of American Gigolo in 1980 by Richard Gere. The lead actor had a closet full of his “Power Suits”—Giorgio Armani’s classic tailored suits.
As a result, Giorgio Armani’s fame, as a brand, shot for the roof, and many professionals began to demand the suits. Unfortunately, in 1985, Giorgio Armani lost his dear friend and partner to leukaemia. People raised many questions as to what would become of the empire now that Galeotti is no more. Little did they know that luxury brands, especially those that carry the name of founder and designer, such as Channel, Gucci, Versace, Christian Dior, etc., usually reflect the values and qualities of the designer. Giorgio Armani shut down those rumours and proved victorious by moving the business to the next level. He launched a series of sub-brands that catered to different market segments. Today, we have several of such sub-brands under Giorgio Armani’s parent umbrella.
Giorgio Armani — Brand Expansion
Being a fantastic designer, Giorgio Armani designed and made apparel that was beautiful, luxurious, and aesthetically beautiful that appealed to the sense of the elite of the society. As a result, the band embarked on an extensive expansion process that saw the development of several sub-brands. Though each of these brands enjoyed a significant success record from the patronage of elites and the literates in the society, there were so many such sub-brands that it soon became necessary for Giorgio Armani as an umbrella brand to streamline. In 2019, the brand completed a three-year streamlining process and discontinued some lines. Today, Giorgio Armani’s brand expansion only covers one corporate brand and three sub-brands.
Let’s take a look at the Giorgio Armani expansion in previous years. First, we’ll delve into the existing corporate and three sub-brands, after which we’ll see what those other fashion lines and sub-brands did before they were discontinued in 2019.
Existing Giorgio Armani Fashion Line and Sub-brands
After the streamlining in 2019, Giorgio Armani was left with only four sub-brands, each delivering the product to different target markets. They include;
Giorgio Armani — the signature Armani line
This Armani brand is the primary collection of Giorgio Armani’s signature suit and several high-quality apparel. It includes the gowns designed to cater to celebrities as they attend major events such as the Oscar. The collections of this line are on the ultra-premium price options. The target audience is those who are 35 to 50 years of age.
The target audience for this fashion line is the younger professional between the ages of 25 to 35 years that care to look fashionable and classy. The brand provides contemporary fashion that those within this age group will consider relevant. Giorgio Armani created crisp and classic designs for this target market since they seem to care about fashion more. He took the design business for this target market and the signature line upon himself, and they seem to be the only target market for which he designs.
This one takes care of the brand’s sports segment. It is a line that came into being as an inspiration by the former Ukrainian footballer—in the person of Andriy Shevchenko. At the time of inception, the player played for A.C. Milan and was known to wear the jersey number 7. Giorgio Armani, as a brand, targeted this line at those who want to maximize their experience from sporting activities and still maintain their desire for exceptional style. Therefore, the fashion line takes care of sporting apparel such as running, golf, fitness, winter sports, etc.
A/X Armani Exchange
As the name suggests, this brand takes care of the Armani fashion house chain of retail outlets. It serves as the medium by which Armani designs exchange hands with the consumers. The ownership and management of its supply chain establish the ultimate power of the brand—supplying the entire range of its accessories and apparel. Armani Exchange provides end-users with access and a complete feel of the luxurious fashion of Giorgio Armani. It offers casual fashion in good quality—something the mass market desires to have.
Discontinued Giorgio Armani Fashion Line and Sub-brands
After a three-year streamlining process that ended in 2019, Giorgio Armani as a brand discontinued some remarkable and successful sub-brands. They include;
Giorgio Armani Prive
In 2005, Armani developed a couture line for stunning red carpet appearances. The line had celebrities who love to appear stylish on the red carpet as the target market. So, the dresses and gowns with Giorgio Armani’s tag on them came out of the Giorgio Armani Prive line, and they were usually luxurious, classy, and flouncy. Most people, including Giorgio Armani, believed that this line exclusively targeted the famous and wealthy.
We can refer to the Armani Collezioni line as an excellent Giorgio Armani affordable fashion line when it was still existing. The target market was those who would like to own one of the exquisite Giorgio Armani apparel, but they could not afford to get one from the Armani signature line. It was also for those who would like to add to their collection of Armani apparel but won’t want to spend so much. So, with a 20% slash in price Armani Collezioni line offered Giorgio Armani fashion portfolios to the audience.
As the name implies, this fashion brand has its target audience to be children and infants. It soon became a sophisticated but simplistic apparel brand, designed with sleek tailoring and finished with classic colours. By taking a cue from the adult line, Armani Junior designed the kids’ fashion apparel with sumptuous materials and proper attention to detail—the summation of which produces a collection known to be synonymous with quality.
Other None-Apparel Giorgio Armani Fashion Sub-Brands
In the fashion and luxury market, one thing that’s common to most brands is leveraging the brand’s strong image. It provides a means for brand equity. No wonder Giorgio Armani as a brand followed suit in no time and developed a series of fashion categories. It’s, however, unfortunate that Giorgio Armani, as a brand, eventually discontinued many of these other categories. They include;
Armani Casa—The Home Collection
Armani showed with this brand that fashion does not end only with apparel. It showed its taste and what it considers ideal living and the perfect environment—speaking intimacy and comfort as its primary language. Though the brand included furniture fabric and other materials for aesthetic purposes, it also provided interior design and decorative objects for various spaces, including planes, yachts, villas, etc.
So, Armani did not also stop providing classy apparel; it contracted the business of smelling good with top-notch fragrance and looking good—with the design and production of skincare, makeup products, etc., to another level. It teamed up with fashion and makeup artists to communicate expertise to the audience.
Armani Ristorante and Cafes—A Chain of Restaurants and Cafes
Armani entered into the food business—a move that most people considered to be bold, considering the disparity. However, they soon concluded that Armani was a success at it. It opened about sixteen restaurants and cafes globally—one in America, seven in Asia, and eight across Europe. You will only see Armani restaurants in prime cities, and they usually have impeccable designs with the best cuisines. They were offering diners the opportunity to dine in style—a way that reflects Giorgio Armani’s brand philosophy.
Other significant sub-brands of the Armani world includes;
Armani-branded Dolci: the confectionery line, taking care of gifting in a sophisticated way.
Armani-branded Fiori: taking care of flowers and floral decoration in Armani style.
The Armani Hotels: a chain of Armani branded hotels and resorts.
Armani Clubs: Armani’s discreet character nightclubs in Millan and Dubai.
Armani Silo: a museum to house Armani’s design philosophy and brand creative dynamism.
The summary of Giorgio Armani’s history is, in a word, respectable success. Oh, that seems to be more than one word, but we can’t seem to separate the Giorgio Armani brand from success considering that it’s a sole shareholder brand, and that’s respectable!