Giorgio Armani is one of the world's most famous fashion designers. Born in Piacenza, Italy on 11 July 1934, he originally intended to become a doctor. After studying medicine at the University of Bologna, he decided that the medical life was not for him. He found that he had an aversion to the sight of blood. He then stepped into the fashion business by becoming a window dresser in a large clothing store.
With his photographic background and a keen eye for detail, it was not long before Giorgio Armani became a clothes buyer for the store. The next step up for the young man was his role as assistant designer for the well-known fashion designer Nino Cerutti. He soon began working for other major fashion labels, such as Zenga and Ungaro.
Giorgio Armani took fashion design very seriously and soon decided it was time to go independent. By 1975, he and his partner Sergio Galeotti had formed a men's clothing line, and in 1976, he branched out into women's fashion. Using the sale of a car to finance his company, he developed his own fashion label. The Armani name was to become world famous, along with its silver eagle icon.
Whereas other Italian fashion designers of the time were sometimes overly flamboyant in their designs, Giorgio Armani's clothing was classic and understated. He is famous for soft, unstructured jackets and flawless suits that can be worn on any occasion, not just on Oscar night. His small company soon became a billion dollar industry, and the name Giorgio Armani became known the world over.
Armani was one of the first designers to get his creations into major Hollywood films in the 1980s. His clothing line clad actors such as Richard Gere in American Gigolo and the entire cast of the film The Untouchables. In the films in which his clothes have been used, he has always been credited in the opening or closing titles.
Giorgio Armani is now, without doubt, one of the most successful designers in the world. He has around 2,000 stores worldwide, and his annual sales are in the billions of dollars arena. Apart from Christian Dior, he is the only fashion designer in the world to have appeared on the cover of Time magazine.