| ICONIC INTERVIEW |Chiara Melani
Back in 1982 he was surprisingly featured on the cover of Time Magazine, appointing him as man of the year, an honor that in the field of fashion had only been previously given to Christian Dior. “He is the most interesting Italian that has ever landed on our continent after Christopher Columbus,” Americans say of him. He is an undisputed member of the Olympus for Great Artists throughout History, and today Giorgio Armani speaks in an exclusive interview for our magazine, radiating narrative art and design.
It all started in Florence with Giovanni Battista Giorgini. Today, with the Armani Group headlined by its preeminent brands Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, A|X Armani Exchange, Armani Privé and Armani/Casa, what does it mean to be the representative of one of the last privately-owned companies in the fashion industry?
It is a source of great pride and great responsibility, as a designer, as an entrepreneur and as an Italian: being aware of having created a style that is also a lifestyle, with the ability for it to transcend sectors and domains from fashion to design, the pride in having successfully spread it around the world and the conviction of having done everything on my own terms. Not succumbing to the conditioning has brought me to where I am today.
Armani/Casa. Tell us about your design approach. What is more important to you, the space or the input from clients?
When developing bespoke design projects, the spaces and their intended functions always serve as my starting point. Although, client input in this regard is fundamental. For a number of years now – since 2003 – my Armani/ Casa Interior Design Studio has been the vehicle for offering both private individuals and property developers a comprehensive service beginning with the conceptual design phase right through to supervising the execution of the project. Under my supervision, the studio develops specific creative solutions, which are always the result of scrupulous research into architecture, form and materials, moreover, taking into account the cultural context, the geography of the place, and the building structure within which one operates.
The Giorgio Armani sense of design.
For me design consists of the creation of objects, environments, and garments that endure over time without losing their appeal or the ability to enhance the personality of those who have selected them. It is a principle that I apply to everything. It is a matter of taste, and my taste reflects a predilection for sophisticated linearity.
How would you define the style of Armani/Casa?
A preciously essential style, that is never excessive: beauty is delivered with simple lines, sophisticated materials, workmanship of the highest quality. Aesthetics and functionality inextricability linked together, ensuring the environment in which one lives is in synch with the person, thus becoming a place that makes one feel completely at ease. These are all elements that create inevitable timeless aesthetics, because something that embodies beauty, elegance, simplicity and linearity is destined to never go stale.
How did you combine the Armani Casa style with your creative ideas from the fashion universe?
I have always taken an interest in promoting ongoing and subtle innovation: this is the manner in which the classic is constantly being reinvented, softened and made more fluid, thereby resulting in its being updated. The principle is applicable to fashion just as to the home: therein lies the link. I like to think that my work is perceived to be constantly evolving; it is certainly not a victim of trends that die after six months, and that often chase after each other with neither consistency nor solidity, as in fashion, so in design.
pieces: it is the weave of synthetic and sustainable fibres for the Osamu candle holder set. Framed in these terms, with research and experimentation inserted into a broader vision, I find the theme stimulating.Otherwise, sustainability becomes no more than a neat communication trick.