MILAN — In his ongoing relationship with Mercedes-Benz, Giorgio Armani on Thursday will participate as a special guest at the luxury automaker’s launch of its new A-Class car together with Grammy Award winner Christina Aguilera. That evening, the designer will stage a fashion show presenting his fall-winter 2004 men’s and women’s collections to about 1,000 guests in one of the main courtyards of the city’s medieval castle, the Castello Sforzesco. After the show an Armani-clad Aguilera will perform for 40 minutes. Included in her show will be “Hello,” which she produced for the A-Class campaign. The night will close with a buffet dinner and a party hosted by DJ Cameron Douglas, son of actor Michael Douglas. The event is the last in Mercedes’ Star Tour campaign, in which 400 A-class cars driven by about 800 European drivers meet at the castle in Milan. “It’s always a pleasure to present one’s collections to a public audience,” Armani told WWD. “With 1,000 people from across Europe converging on Milan, I was delighted to accept the invitation from Mercedes-Benz.”

For the show, Armani recreated the courtyard his old Via Borgonuovo theater. An orange carpet flanked by 300 candles leads to the entrance to the castle.

“This [event] is an extension and a progression of Mr. Armani’s relationship with Mercedes-Benz,” said a Mercedes-Benz spokesman, referring to the company’s sponsorship of Armani’s retrospectives in Berlin, London, Rome, Tokyo and Shanghai. Armani helped design a limited-edition Mercedes-Benz CLK model a year ago. He’s not involved in the design of the A-class model.

Olympic figure skating champion Katarina Witt, tennis ace Boris Becker and artist Lara Fabian are expected at the event.

— Luisa Zargani

This story first appeared in the September 7, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.