He’s known as a living icon. A design revolutionary. A legend.
Giorgio Armani, the 87-year-old designer and entrepreneur, answers 21 questions for Gulf News that explore his journey of over 60 years from medical student to fashion luminary.
The Living Legend Himself !!
It was simply an instinctive impulse, which propelled me to tackle the issue of comfort in tailoring. I felt that while so many other things had evolved over time, the jacket had stayed unchanged from the time of my father, or even my grandfather.
It was still stiff, restrictive, and uncomfortable, still made in the same old way. I felt that people should be able to look smart and feel comfortable at the same time – that seemed to me to be a reasonable objective. So I stripped the garment right back, taking out padding and linings, and employing the new, lighter-weight fabrics that had been developed.
My design philosophy is based around the idea of timeless style, rather than the pursuit of passing trends. This ensures that clothes are wearable for many years. This is not only a matter of aesthetics, but also of sustainability. But as to those aesthetics, my look celebrates elegance and refined simplicity. These are clothes that never wear the wearer – they never dominate or disguise. Instead, they are designed to bring out the character of the wearer and show this in a good light. The choice of a minimal, natural colour palette is all part of this approach. As for how fashion has changed over the years, I’d say that the influence of fast fashion, with its constant churn, is something that seems the absolute opposite of what I aspire to with my collections.
Only that I believe that while the past year and a half has been challenging, it has also forced us to think and reflect on the type of world we wish to live in. Let’s not squander the opportunity we have been given to reassess our priorities.