The Ultimate Icon – The Giorgio Armani Story

The charming, worldly Italian personality that has shaped the brand to this day has an omnipresent influence on how young professional men dress, impress and, by the end of the night, seduce. Armani’s iconic designs and fragrances have successfully captured everything about Southern Italy’s allure and given us the chance to express it here in our cosmopolitan lifestyles.

As Canada’s publication for young professionals, when we think of the people that get us excited and motivated, the people who lead us to rise before the sun, work late hours, and take bold chances, we think of icons. Icons are memorable and authentic; to be iconic is to captivate and to mesmerize – perhaps it’s to be there without physically being present. If this is the case, then the man who has inspired us to write this article, Giorgio Armani, truly is The Ultimate Icon.

One of the most jaw-dropping, eye-opening, anything-is-possible facts about Armani is that he started his business when he was 40 years old. And if that’s not enough, he still oversees every single aspect of his brand’s evolution at the age of 78. His latest venture to hit the Canadian marketplace is Armani Code Ultimate, a fragrance that breathes a new life into the sensual leather notes that have always captivated and continue to intrigue both sophisticated ladies and suave gentleman around the world.

The Armani dynasty officially began in 1975 when Giorgio Armani launched his fashion house in Milan. He founded the Armani Corporation four years later and began his foray into the American marketplace, highlighted by the launch of “Le Collezioni” – now a staple within every dress-to-impress gentleman’s wardrobe. Armani incorporated fragrances into his arsenal in the early 80s and opened the first Giorgio Armani boutique, an expansion that skyrocketed the brand’s popularity. Armani recognized the need for unconventional methods of advertising and began developing a working relationship with the art of cinema, most notably orchestrating the costume design for American Gigolo and The Untouchables. Today, Giorgio Armani is one of the most sought-after celebrity designers and even lent his made-to-measure expertise to dress the ultimate fictional icon, Bruce Wayne, in the latest Batman film.

As Armani’s international success continued to flourish, he established notoriety by turning the fashion world on its head. Following the starvation death of a model, Armani became the first designer to ban models with a Body Mass Index under 18 – perhaps an inspiration for the handful of modern designers who’ve ditched the skinny girl model for runway shows recently. He is also the only living designer to be featured in New York’s Guggenheim Museum (drawing an astounding 29,000 visitors a week) and the first to broadcast his collection live on the Internet in 2007.

Not only is Armani the Ultimate Icon in the realm of haute couture, he’s managed to seamlessly converge his fashion skills with the world of sport as well. He’s currently the President of the Olimpia Milano basketball team, has designed two suits for the England national football team, and created the Italian Olympic uniform for the Games of 2012 in London. Whether it’s outfit design for Lady Gaga at the Grammy’s or collaboration with former AC Milan striker Andrei Shevchenko (EA7), there’s not a stage left untouched by the iconic designer.

Armani could have left the industry years ago, but a man with such drive doesn’t simply call it a day. He finds inspiration from three facets of his life: his villa in Pantelleria, rich Italian heritage and the glamour of Old Hollywood – Code Ultimate being a true homage to the glamour of Old Hollywood. He has again proven an uncanny ability to adapt to the times and stay relevant among an increasingly hard-to-impress young professional demographic, solidifying his Ultimate Icon status.

Our notable suggestion? Head straight to The Bay and sample it for yourself. For more information visit the Armani Facebook page here.