On this day, July 11 in the year 1934, one of the living legends of fashion was born in Piacenza, a town in Northern Italy. His name is Giorgio Armani, one of the richest fashion designers in the world with a net worth of $8 billion according to forbes.com.
Giorgio Armani was born in a family of modest means. His father was an accountant in a transportation company. He had an older brother and a younger sister. Because he wanted to be a doctor, he enrolled at the medical faculty of the University of Milan but did not finish it. In 1953, he left the university and joined the army. Four years after, he got a job in a department store as a window dresser and later, as seller in the men’s wear department. Some years later, he became a designer for menswear at Nino Cerruti Company and at the same time freelanced as designer for other manufacturers as well.
In 1973, at the urging of his friend Sergio Galeotti, he opened a design office from where many fashion houses would source their menswear design. In 1975, he founded his own fashion house, Giorgio Armani S.p.A. in Milan. He also established a subsidiary company in the US later where he introduced not only menswear but also womenswear. He kept on expanding his offerings to include underwear, swimwear, jeans, accessories, perfumes, cosmetics, and home furnishings. Other products added later were sportswear, eyeglasses, and watches.
In 1980, his popularity soared when he designed the costume of Richard Gere for his American Gigolo movie. He went on to design the costume of actors and actresses of more than 100 films and even the costume of Lady Gaga for her concerts. Meanwhile, he established branches in many countries including Japan and China.
Aside from fashion, Giorgio Armani also had agreements with other companies to open hotels under the Giorgio Armani brand. He also had his own restaurants and music labels.
Giorgio Armani is unmarried though he had long lasting relationship with Sergio Galeotti who died of AIDS in 1985.