MILAN — “I’m a man who gets things done, not one who just talks about them — a man of action, not of celebration or, worse still, self-celebration.”
That is how Giorgio Armani describes himself in his new autobiography, which is being released during his company’s 40th anniversary year. Published by Rizzoli, the book, simply titled “Giorgio Armani,” will be presented Sept. 28 at a press conference following the designer’s signature runway show and will hit stores the next day.
A range of both unpublished and well-known images by international photographers such as Craig McDean, Aldo Fallai and Peter Lindbergh are juxtaposed with the concise yet revealing text written by Armani himself.
“I’m focused and controlled, but behind the iciness is a hot-blooded and sensitive personality. I have learned to protect myself, otherwise the world might have taken advantage of me,” the designer writes. “I’m introverted and reserved: I have always preferred my studio to parties and social events and, even today, I’m still the first to arrive at work in the morning and the last one to leave at night. I have found a way to not be overwhelmed by the indispensable performative side of my work: I have surrounded myself with a sort of mystique that some may interpret as being aloof, others as a role, others still as a form of shyness. And the latter is the interpretation I like best.”
Along with offering a peek into his personal life, the designer discusses the milestones in the company’s history, as well as the creative process behind his collections.
The book will be available in two versions — a regular one retailing at $150 and a deluxe limited edition sold at $350.
Here, Armani discusses the genesis of the project:
How did you conceive the idea of this book?
The 40-year anniversary of my brand, with all the amount of stories and experiences that marked them, seemed the perfect moment to sum up and tell everything from my point of view and in the first person in a very personal and direct document.
There are many books on you, but it’s the first time we can read one written by you. How was taking this challenge on?
This was not an easy challenge: telling about ourselves requires the right dose of detachment and the ability to read the events in an objective way, without succumbing to emotions. At the same time, this was a very emotional experience, because I retraced all my private and professional life, rediscovering certain moments, living intense memories again. I felt happy, sometimes melancholic for those who are not here anymore. I never felt nostalgic: The book tells my story with my eyes looking ahead. I wanted an emotional document, full of life, and I hope I reached this goal.
The book tells a lot about your personal and professional life through images. How did you select them from your huge archives?
I tried to pick those images that better represent my life and my professional path, and I also wanted to include unpublished images. I thought of the book as a long sequence of pictures, almost like in a movie, interrupted by notes written in the first person: a constant stream mixing public and private, life and work.