MILAN — Ahead of his first Emporio Armani show in London in September, Giorgio Armani will work with the British Fashion Council and fashion students in the U.K. on the New Bond competition to create a capsule collection for spring 2018. The show on Sept. 17 will mark the opening of the newly renovated Emporio Armani boutique on Bond Street.
The competition is open to all schools that are part of the BFC Colleges Council network. Armani will work with students that will “bring the essence of British style to their interpretations of three iconic Emporio Armani signature models,” said the company.
“British design schools are among the most interesting in today’s arena,” said Armani. “They produce unique talents, by encouraging the originality and individuality of each student. I believe that to be successful in fashion, creativity must go hand in hand with a pragmatic and realistic approach; I would like to use this initiative to encourage a dialog between these two elements, giving the winners a useful opportunity to succeed and move forward in their careers.”
The designer will evaluate all submissions and select three winners, one for each product category: outerwear, bags and footwear. The three chosen designs will be manufactured and sold in Emporio Armani stores in London, Manchester and Glasgow, and will be available on the armani.com web site starting from September.
The winners will also spend three months at the Armani headquarters in Milan to work with the group’s designers to develop their creations.
Expressing her gratitude to Armani for this opportunity, Caroline Rush, chief executive of the BFC, said she was “excited to see such a renowned brand investing in the future of British talent, especially as Armani will be joining the London Fashion Week schedule this September. London is an international city at the heart of our diverse industry; sharing talent, skills and knowledge alongside a strong foundation of high-quality fashion education is the key to continued growth.”
In line with this project, Armani has been supporting young designers for several seasons by inviting them to present their collections at his Teatro space in Milan. The latest was Chinese designer Xuzhi Chen in February, who followed Vivetta, Andrea Pompilio, Au Jour le Jour and Miaoran, to name a few.
WWD was the first in April to report Armani’s decision to show in London. At the time, the designer said: “London — dynamic, energetic and cosmopolitan — represents global culture, so it’s the perfect setting for my Emporio Armani collection. After my ‘One Night Only’ event in 2006, I’m thrilled to be returning to London to unveil the new concept at the Bond Street store, bearing witness to the brand’s strong bond with the British people.”
In a similar move, the designer last year decided to exceptionally hold his Emporio Armani spring fashion show in Paris as the restyling of the brand’s boutique and its Caffé on Boulevard Saint-Germain-des-Prés provided the opportunity to rethink the location and timing of the show.
As reported, Armani is restructuring his labels. In February he revealed his decision to cease the Armani Collezioni and Armani Jeans brands and use only the Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and A|X Armani Exchange names. The new strategy will be effective starting with the spring 2018 season. Armani Collezioni and Armani Jeans will be blended into those three main lines.
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