A|X SCRABBLE: The A|X Armani Exchange campaign for fall dovetails with Giorgio Armani’s reorganization of his brand’s portfolio and the relaunch of the young streetwear label.
The designer tapped Sabine Villard to photograph the new A|X Armani Exchange campaign for fall-winter 2017-18, fronted by British actress, model and one of Instagram’s queens Cara Delevingne, flanked by the Dutch 21-year-old top DJ Martin Garrix. Images of the Chinese singer and actor Li Yifeng will be rolled out in China and the Asia-Pacific region.
“For this campaign, I wanted three faces capable of recounting the individualist A|X spirit in a novel, unconventional way. Three different and surprising individuals, all creative and free in their expression and whom I wanted to envelop in Armani style,” said Giorgio Armani. “Cara Delevingne is an irreverent, chameleon-like character interpreting different aesthetics and philosophies; Martin Garrix, who is capable of making magic with music, and Li Yifeng, a multifaceted talent who speaks to a vast audience. A|X is Armani style in its most metropolitan, free self just like my three testimonials.”
The campaign is meant to be playful and disruptive, leveraging Delevingne’s strong and irreverent personality and the trifecta’s trendsetting ways and appeal to a younger audience – reflecting the brand’s target. Incidentally, there is no sign of Delevingne’s well-documented close shave.
In the bold black-and-white images, the letters A and X of the brand’s logo are disassembled and used as props such as magnifying glasses, vinyl records, rubber balls, pirate patches and light bulbs.
As reported in February, the Milan-based designer revealed his decision to cease the Armani Collezioni and Armani Jeans, blending and consolidating them in his three labels – Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and A|X Armani Exchange – starting with the spring-summer 2018 season, as the fashion company undergoes an internal restructuring.
“There was too much confusion with so many collections,” said the designer back then. “Times have changed, and we have to evolve.”
A|X Armani Exchange was launched in 1991, the same year it opened its first retail store in Manhattan’s SoHo. A|X Armani Exchange was a pioneer in online communication and retailing, launching its armaniexchange.com site in 1995 and adding online sales in 1997.
In 2014, Armani unveiled ambitious plans to turn his A|X Armani Exchange brand into “the first global Italian fast-fashion brand targeting a young customer whose DNA is strongly Armani.” The designer unveiled the strategy as he revealed he had acquired the remaining 50 percent of A|X that he did not already own. Armani raised his stake in the A|X Armani Exchange venture with Como Holdings Inc. to 50 percent at the end of 2008. The venture with Como Holdings Inc., called Presidio Holdings Ltd., with Christina Ong and her husband, Ong Beng Seng, Armani’s longtime business partners and the licensees of the A|X Armani Exchange brand, was signed in 2005, and has helped boost worldwide revenues of the A|X brand.