By  on September 7, 2007

DALLAS — Giorgio Armani said Thursday that retirement isn't on his agenda.

"I have no desire or plans to retire,'' Armani, 73, told WWD during fittings at the Neiman Marcus flagship here before his fall-winter ready-to-wear show at Neiman's Crystal Charity luncheon today. "I can't imagine not working."

Speaking days after Valentino, 75, announced his retirement, Armani said, "I feel that I still have much to say and to design." Citing 76-year-old media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who recently engineered the $5 billion acquisition of The Wall Street Journal by Murdoch's News Corp., the designer added, "And I am still younger than a lot of others who are still quite active in their work and careers."

Armani said his vision remains focused on making women look beautiful, much like fellow Italian Valentino.

"Valentino has stayed faithful to the goal of making a woman look beautiful and her best," Armani said. "That's the kind of highest integrity and vision that I have as well."

Dressed in his trademark black T-shirt, black pants and white running shoes, Armani was busy fitting models in preparation for the annual Crystal Charity event, which also includes the naming of the 10 best-dressed women in Dallas. The charity raises funds to benefit children's organizations.

Armani arrived at Neiman Marcus on Wednesday and got a Texas-size welcome from more than 1,000 Neiman's associates and fans as he entered the downtown store.

"I first came to Dallas nearly 25 years ago," he said. "It's very gratifying to see all those people who love my work and also to know and remember that Dallas customers, then as now, continue to embrace my designs."

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