Some thoughts from Giorgio Armani found in the pages of WWD.

“The idea of being a simple country doctor was my dream.”
— May 1978

“As I wasn’t born an aristocrat, it’s useless to try to become one through fashion. I don’t want to be too distant from my roots. It’s only important to be modern in my work, and honest.”
— May 1978

“That sudden retro style of exaggeration in Paris is amusing, but I think it’s difficult to sell and to wear. For Hollywood-style 1950, you have to be tall, thin and extremely beautiful. Everyone isn’t.”
— May 1978

“What I don’t like is when American men try to dress in a very elegant way because they don’t know how. [They] look ridiculous when they try to wear a navy pinstriped suit with a satin tie. But they have a certain innate elegance when  they wear sportswear.”
— May 1978

“New York is the only city in the world. It defines the idea of what a city is…a fascinating place, even if I would never live there — it’s not private enough.”
— June 1979

“I’ve never been interested in dressing people to go and work in a bank — even if in America people buy my clothes to do just that.”
— July 1979

“I realized the idea of chic is changing. Modern chic has nothing to do with a woman wearing a crepe de chine blouse with a matching bow at the neck.”
— October 1979

“The idea of paradox appeals to me now. I love to take elements out of their element…I think that is probably the direction of modern fashion. Take a fresh look at things rather than accepting the acceptable.”
— October 1979

“Fashion is work, not drudgery…the most important thing is I really do enjoy what I do. I amuse myself like you can’t imagine.”
— November 1979“When I said yes, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be. I’m not used to making a charmeuse dress for someone who stretches her leg to the ceiling.”
— November 1980, on designing costumes for the Louis Falco dance company.

“For me, it is essential to eliminate the superfluous in life…Everything must have a use and be in harmony with the things around it.”
— May 1981

“What I’ve done is create a chic that’s younger. My chic allows a woman her sense of interpretation. This is the specialness of the modern woman: She’s able to judge how to do things on her own.”
— May 1981

“I’m a man of few needs. An ideal day for me could be so  diversified — I would love to spend an afternoon with a beautiful woman in a fancy restaurant, but I might have an even better time in a big department store, stopping for an over-the-counter lunch…I don’t like saucy foods where you can’t recognize what you’re eating.”
— May 1981

“I can’t stand people who tell me how wonderful everything is. I love a good war.”
— August 1981

“It’s time to see legs again.”
— October 1984

“We have many things to do yet, and I want to do them. If there is a way, however, when I am not interested in being responsible for the business of Giorgio Armani, that I want to expand my capital, then the stock market could be an alternative.”
— June 1986

“Maybe we haven’t developed Emporio Armani to its fullest capacity, and maybe we should experiment with that — and not introduce Giorgio Armani radiators.”
— June 1986

“Every type of excess and assault you make, you pay for later. These excesses that have been permitted to the stores, to the clients and to the press have brought about a complete saturation of the market. And the bottom line is that the public pays for it. They pay for everything around an outfit they buy — the publicity trips, the advertising, the p.r. dinners — and often what they are paying for around that item is completely useless.”
— June 1986“I think women’s legs are absolutely terrific from the knee down, but frankly, if you don’t have good legs, don’t wear short skirts. I don’t want to see a lot of ugly legs. It’s not very elegant. In fact, it’s antiaesthetic.”
— March 1988

“America is very interesting. There are big stores and boutiques, and nothing in the middle. We want a human store where you can eat and relax.”
— February 1989, at the opening of the first British Emporio

“I had all the hibiscus removed. I find them vulgar.”
— April 1989, describing the landscaping at his retreat on Pantelleria

“Life is the movie and my clothes are the costumes.”
— November 1990

“Sometimes I’m not happy with what I see. If I didn’t care so much, I’d say, ‘That will do, I’m on vacation, do it. OK.’ But as long as I’m still alive, and I want to protect my good name, I’m obliged to say no — often.”
— June 1992

“I’m never afraid to make a mistake or have a disagreement with the boss — that’s me. I’m always here, and I can give a decision in five minutes.”
— June 1992

“If you think of a woman in an Armani suit in her house, why should she be sitting on a chair that has nothing to do with her spirit?”
— June 1992, discussing the idea of Armani Casa

“I ask myself, should I continue down my own path or should I pick the path of the latest trend, the flashiest innovation? Which is the right path? I know which is the right path, it’s the path that gives you the final result in the store.…I have to convince myself that I may not be in the trend of the year, but I have to follow that path that confirms my ideas, my products.”
— October 1994“Creativity in our profession is measured by how well you can filter an idea according to our age. If not, we’re just making costumes, and I don’t agree with that.”
— October 1994

“I don’t know that the Chinese realize how futuristic Shanghai is, how much more avant-garde it is than, say, New York was, or Chicago, or Paris, or any of these other big cities.”
— April 2004

“I’m only just now getting used to being called king, but if someone wants to call me emperor, that’s just fine by me.”
— May 2004

“It’s silly to make a beautiful, important dress that doesn’t sell because the woman who wants it can’t find it in her size. There are a lot of women out there who don’t have perfect bodies or who maybe don’t want to show off their arms. This collection is for them.”
— January 2005, on the couture

To access this article, click here to subscribe or to log in.

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus