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Giorgio Armani Profiles: Fashion Designer Guide

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Born on July 11, 1934, in Piacenza, Italy, Giorgio Armani is an iconic clothing designer.  His popularity skyrocketed in America in the 1980s when his men's 'power suits' appeared frequently on the television series Miami Vice and in the 1980 film American Gigolo, which starred Richard Gere in Armani's signature garb.

After completing his military service, Armani dropped out of university and went to work at La Rinascente, a famous Milan department store. He then joined the staff of Nino Cerruti as a designer. With the encouragement of his friend Sergio Galeotti, Armani started to do freelance design work for other companies as well.

Armani and Galeotti became business partners, founding Giorgio Armani S.p.A. in July 1975. The company's first collection, a men's clothing line, debuted that year. Armani launched a women's collection the following year, which received a warm reception.

While his designs were popular in Europe, Armani didn't make a big splash in America until 1980. His clothes were worn by actor Richard Gere in the film American Gigolo (1980), which helped generate a lot of interest in Armani.

In the 1980's and beyond, wearing Armani became a symbol of success for many business professionals. Men had especially sought out the brand's "power suits." With demand high, Armani and Galeotti were able to grow the business, opening up Armani stores in Milan. Armani, however, suffered a great personal and professional loss in 1985 when he lost longtime friend and business partner Galeotti to AIDS. While some thought that the business might suffer after Galeotti's death, Armani showed the world that he was just as talented as an executive as he was as a designer.

In 2005, Armani debuted his first haute couture line.


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