By  on October 15, 2007

MILAN — Giorgio Armani is providing financial support to the Australian theater company to be led by Cate Blanchett.

Armani made an undisclosed donation to the Sydney Theatre Company that represents one of the largest individual financial gifts to an Australian theatrical group. He has been named a patron by the company, which develops young talent. Blanchett and her husband, Andrew Upton, have been appointed co-artistic directors.

"What particularly struck me in my conversation with Cate about this collaboration was that same sense of focus coupled with commitment to one of her country's most important cultural institutions," said Armani, who will fly to Australia next month, where Blanchett and Upton will host a dinner in his honor.

Blanchett is also a fan of Armani's fashion, which she regularly wears, and attends the designer's Privé shows in Paris.

"Mr. Armani is one of the most meticulous, exacting, creative individuals we have had the pleasure to encounter,'' she said. "The prospect of the STC embarking upon a creative relationship with an artist of Armani's experience and caliber is not only an aspiring but [an] expansive one."

Earlier this year, Armani became a funding partner and honorary trustee in Martin Scorsese's new World Cinema Foundation.

Throughout his career, Armani has dressed Hollywood celebrities and has injected his creative whim into costumes for iconic films such as "American Gigolo," "The Untouchables," and "Shaft." He also has designed costumes for theater and opera performances including Jonathan Miller's "Così fan tutte," Robert Wilson's "Donna del Mare" and the musical "Chicago."

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