By  on February 13, 2009

This month, Giorgio Armani is unveiling his grandest vision yet—a 43,000-square-foot Fifth Avenue flagship to showcase his entire world, from clothing to chocolates, fragrance to furniture. While the current economic climate may not seem like the most auspicious time to open an ambitious new emporium, the Milan-based designer is confident that his rigorously honed modernist aesthetic remains more resonant than ever. Here, the designer discusses vision, visibility and the importance of being persistent.How do you define beauty?Beauty is something innate, which belongs to one’s own personality and interior values rather than to one’s physical appearance. In other words, a beautiful mind is the key to attractiveness. In this sense, I strongly believe that cosmetics are about enhancing rather than masking one’s features, just as I believe that clothing should never disguise the wearer, but instead should help reveal his/her inner character. How do your nurture your mind, body and soul?It’s very important to take care of our body and our skin as the condition of these refl ects how we are doing both physically and mentally. I’m happy to use my men’s skin care cream—Skin Minerals for Men—every day. I also drink a lot of water to keep hydrated, and exercise every morning with my personal trainer.How do you define creativity? Creativity is a way of expressing one’s own ideas and tastes. My favorite channel of expression is designing products of different kinds—in this way, I have a ready outlet, and am able to convey my aesthetic values.What does success mean to you?Success is something that you need to fight for. It is a result of years of dedication, work and self-discipline. I have sacrificed a lot during my lifetime in order to achieve and maintain success in my chosen field: from holidays to hobbies and aspects of my personal life. But the present result is worth it!If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?I would cancel war and poverty.If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?I must confess I feel very lucky to have achieved what I have during my life. However, if I were to change one thing, it would be to spend more time with my family and closest friends, as well as dedicating more time to myself—maybe sailing more often on board my boat!

What inspires you?I can be inspired by all manner of things—art, books, people I meet, travel and especially fi lm, which has been a passion of mine since I was a boy. I am open to the world around me, and that is what inspires me. Do you have a motto?Less is more.What does la dolce vita mean to you?It means many things—a glass of wine with friends, a voyage on my yacht, a holiday at my home on the Mediterranean island of Pantelleria, an intimate dinner with my family at Nobu and even a quiet night at home watching one of my favorite films, like Notorious by Alfred Hitchcock, which I never seem to tire of.Who do you admire most in the world and why?I admire any creative person who has a personal vision that they stick to with conviction and passion. It is easy to be sidetracked, and sometimes difficult to believe in yourself.Is there anyone who you haven't dressed who you would like to?Of course, there are—and will be— many, but it would not be fair to mention one in particular.What advice would you give one who hopes to follow in your footsteps?To always remain consistent in pursuing their own ideas—that’s the real secret of my success.

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