The Armani Code

A few minutes ago, Giorgio Armani presented its spring-summer collection for 2023 - a great occasion to take a look at the beginnings of the luxury brand. And then there's Richard Gere. In his role as "American Gigolo" he was not uninvolved in the triumph of the Italian designer.
Text Alfred Rzyski
Photo Moviestills DB

The year is 1980: The Porsche 911 Turbo is still making headlines on the streets of the world, the USA is boycotting the Summer Olympics in Moscow - and Richard Gere plays Julian Kaye, the man for a certain hours, in "America Gigolo". With his role? It is also the time for those casually reduced garments from Italy, designed by Giorgio Armani. They are the only ones Richard Gere wears in his role. The secret of the casual yet elegant fashion seen there: Armani cuts the lining out of the suit in his creations. In doing so, he changes the silhouette of the man, thus also his gait, he frees him from ballast - so that a golfer, musician, banker can stroll as easily, as casually as the noble service provider Julian Kaye.

Looking back? It's exactly the campaign Armani needed and was practically given. Even years later, the designer confesses: "I was amazed when I understood that the film promoted my look worldwide - something I could never have afforded at the time." After the success of "American Gigolo", American journalists then logically turned up in Italy - and reported enthusiastically on the new fashion designers, whose names they had to form like arancini balls in their mouths. Gianfranco Ferré, Gianni Versace and of course Giorgio Armani.

"I was amazed when I understood that the film was promoting my look worldwide - something I could never have afforded at the time."

Giorgio Armani

Armani's fashion then became a trademark for sporty elegance, for modern anchoring in life. Whoever wore Armani danced on the right side. The Pet Shop Boys sang "Armani, Armani, A-A-Armani" on their Milan anthem "Paninaro" in 1986, Bret Easton Ellis explained on several pages in his bestseller "American Psycho" how an Armani suit is made. The Italian's name underwent a change of meaning: away from the doorbell of a northern Italian family to a synonym for fashionable know-it-alls. The rest? Is simply history.

The Italian's name underwent a change of meaning: away from the doorbell of a northern Italian family to a synonym for fashionable know-it-alls.

And today, even at the age of 87, Giorgio Armani still designs himself, faces the applause of the public after the fashion shows, although with an estimated fortune of 8.5 billion euros he could actually have long since enjoyed the Dolce Vita. Armani does not step down, he still controls his fashion house. Even after the stroke of fate through which he lost his life partner Sergio Galeotti. According to the old saying: what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. And then there is one of his maxims, which the otherwise decidedly reserved Armani once shared: "My private life must be subordinate to my business life." And still has to, it has to be said.

Read the whole story about Giorgio Armani, his meteoric rise and the movie "American Gigolo" in rampstyle #24.

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