While Giorgio Armani may still consider himself a hardworking, overachieving employee, there’s no doubt he knows how to unwind like the big boss he is.
His lifestyle may not garner the magazine pages à la Valentino or Donatella Versace, but Armani is, to say the least, utterly comfortable. However, fax machines, mobile phones and computers are always close at hand for the workaholic Armani.
The designer, who regularly travels by private plane, has homes in Milan; Paris; New York; Saint-Tropez; Broni, Italy, and on the island of Pantelleria. He recently purchased a custom-made yacht called Mariù, which is short for Maria, his late mother’s name. (He travels everywhere with a photo of his mother and one of his late business partner, Sergio Galeotti. “I don’t like leaving them at home,” he says.)
But, with a fortune estimated by Forbes at $2.2 billion, he has plenty of chances to do so.
When he’s not traveling for work, Armani spends his weekends in his villa in Broni, near his hometown of Piacenza. Modeled after an English stately home, it boasts a marble staircase, rose and herb gardens, stables and a barn.
Armani spends the last week of July — after the men’s wear shows — at his seven-room home in Saint-Tropez, which he’s proud to say he decorated himself from the flea markets in the area.
The monthlong August holiday is spent on the scorching-hot and rocky island of Pantelleria, off the southern coast of Sicily, and closer to Tunisia than to Italy. Armani’s home there is a paradise out of “A Thousand and One Nights.” Six small houses are built at varying levels around a pool. There are wooden decks and little balconies with curtains billowing in the wind and cushions strewn everywhere. At night, candles flicker on the terraces, while Armani and his entourage of family members, friends and members of his design staff have their pre-dinner cocktails.
One of his latest vacation homes is a floating one. In 2003, the designer christened a 150-foot, four-floor yacht that he’s decked out in teak — and Armani Casa furnishings. A staff of 10 Armani-clad sailors tends to six staterooms, two interior decks, a large galley, a veranda and an exterior dining terrace.
Over Christmas, while he was cruising the Caribbean on the Mariù, he purchased a villa in Antigua that struck his fancy. The villa is near those that belong to Andrij Shevchenko, the soccer player from Ukraine who also operates Armani stores in his home country.
Armani’s Paris apartment is a 2,100-square-foot studio above the Emporio Armani store in Saint Germain des Pres. He spends some weekends there, and likes to use it as a base for antique shopping. Life isn’t all about Armani Casa, after all, and the designer is a big fan of the Porte de Vanves flea market.
He spends time at his Manhattan penthouse apartment during the Christmas holidays, on his way to the Caribbean. With its view of Central Park, the interiors are similar to his Peter Marino-designed home on Milan’s Via Borgonuovo, next door — surprise — to the office.
— Samantha Conti