ARMANI TALKS VERSACE: Giorgio Armani wrote candidly about Gianni Versace in the preface to the reissue of “Gianni Versace. La Biografia,” the late designer’s biography by journalist Tony di Corcia first published in 2010.

“Fifteen years after his death, what I remember of Gianni Versace? His incredible exuberance, a sense of happiness that mixes everything — ideas, trends, memories, art — with a sort of nonchalant vitality. He was a great creator,” Armani wrote in the preface, hitting bookstores on Thursday. Armani said that Versace’s talent is increasingly evident as times passes.

This story first appeared in the November 20, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Armani, who established his fashion house in 1975, only three years before the Calabrian designer, described the rise of ready-to-wear in Italy in the Eighties and how they were both spurred by their rivalry.

“The Italian mentality feeds on contradictions: from [bike aces] Coppi/Bartali to Gina Lollobrigida/Sophia Loren. Armani and Versace were perfect for this game,” Armani wrote. “But to be honest we didn’t know each other very well, being so absorbed in our work […] even if we would have never admitted that, we were curious about each other and at the end of each show we used to ask: “What did Versace do?” and “What did Armani do?”