Giorgio Armani

FOREVER ICON: Giorgio Armani is the third recipient of the 2020 Parete Award, named in honor of Ermando Parete, an Italian late customs officer who survived the Dachau concentration camp during World War II.

Armani, who was chosen for his “extraordinary personality who marked an era” and for his role as “the ultimate Italian icon in the world,” received the prize during a virtual ceremony livestreamed on Monday from Milan’s prestigious Bocconi University.

Previous recipients include businessman Vittorio Colao and Giovanni Tamburi, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the publicly listed Tamburi Investment Partners.

“Ermando Parete represents courage and memory, fundamental virtues, especially today, when there is a certain tendency to forget and run away from issues and injustices,” Armani said when accepting the award. “However, we know very well that without memory there is neither future nor innovation. It’s impossible to build something new without knowledge of the past, because with no foundations everything collapses.”

During his speech, Armani touched on our society’s growing individualism and encouraged new generations to value quality rather than quantity.

“Let’s try to ask ourselves what we need, what we really want to be, to guarantee future generations a more livable world,” he said. “This exercise helps us to question ourselves, and pushes us take into consideration memory and action. Now that everything is virtual, we have to nourish feelings, especially that collective unifying feeling making us closer and more worthy of this unique gift, called life.”

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