Giorgio Armani

Armani, Giorgio (1934- ), Italian fashion designer, hailed as a master tailor and as a designer whose clothes combine elegance, quality, and practicality. He was born in Piacenza, Italy. Armani abandoned his medical studies and studied photography before becoming a window dresser at a Milan department store. He worked there in the menswear department, then spent ten years (1961-1971) with Nino Cerutti, a leading men's fashion house. After Armani left Cerutti, he founded his own firm; clothes designed by him first appeared under the Armani label in 1975.

The Armani line was notable for informal, loosely-fashioned blazers and rumpled silhouettes. Although designed for men, his fashions were so popular with women that Armani began to design for them as well. In 1980 he introduced Armani USA, featuring lower-priced, mass-produced copies of his custom-made clothes. That same year, he designed Richard Gere's wardrobe for the film American Gigolo, as well as uniforms for the Italian air force. He also began to design his own fabrics. In 1982 he introduced his perfume, Armani. In 1981 he became one of the few designers of men's clothes to win the Neiman-Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion.