Fashion brands come and go. Some have longevity, but for every stylish survivor there are a hundred or more that explode into the spotlight from nowhere and then return just as quickly to obscurity. So what guarantees staying power in a notoriously fickle world obsessed with the fresh and new?
Giorgio Armani is the perfect example. At the forefront of Italian and global fashion since its launch in 1975, it’s the epitome of a house with endurance and lasting appeal. At its head is 85-year-old Mr Armani, a steely and stylish figurehead, who directs every aspect of the business. It’s telling that, to this day, whether out of respect or in deference to his gravitas and position in the industry, he’s never referred to by his first name.
Alongside his fashion company, Armani has used the Armani/Casa design and interiors arm of his business, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, to strengthen and broaden his empire into different creative spheres. Rather than being simply a few monogrammed cushions or homeware pieces linked to previous catwalk collections, Armani/Casa is a fully developed entity offering entire ranges of furniture, lighting, accessories and more.
‘With the launch of the first Armani/Casa collection,’ says Armani, ‘I began to create the idea of a total lifestyle, extending my vision and aesthetics to interior decorating. Research and experimentation give life to objects and environments that reflect my idea of design and what I consider to be luxurious and essential.’
The Armani/Casa story in reality started almost 40 years ago, in 1982, when Armani designed a lamp for the company’s Milan offices. This was the first time he’d ever created an interiors product and his love for the piece was cemented after he incorporated its silhouette into the brand’s logo when the first flagship opened in 2000. Since then it’s become known as the ‘Logo’ lamp and still forms an integral part of each collection.
Over the past 20 years the brand has been bolstered in numerous ways. Armani understood from the start that savvy collaborations with other global design specialists were the way forward. This led to long-standing partnerships with luxury fabric house Rubelli and wallcoverings firm Jannelli & Volpi to create textiles, while Molteni & C conceived Armani/Dada kitchens and Spanish company Roca worked on a range of bathrooms.
With all these elements in place, it meant the firm was able to create a fully comprehensive and credible Armani world, leading to the 2004 launch of its Interior Design Studio. Subsequently, it has worked on numerous residential and hospitality projects across the globe, from Armani Hotels in Dubai and Milan to the luxurious Queen’s Gate Place development in London.
Throughout these two decades, the Armani/Casa products have shone, perfectly representing that dialogue between minimalism and décor, tradition and innovation, which the company stands for. As Armani points out: ‘I have a taste for the most precious materials, enhanced by pure lines, exquisite craftsmanship and natural, harmonious colours.’ If there’s a formula for luxury brand success, then that must be it. armani.com/casa
Armani/Casa: 20 years of luxury design in detail…
We take an in-depth look at the path from lightbulb moment to stylish success story…
The ‘Logo’ lamp is developed at the Giorgio Armani office on Via Durini, Milan. It is the first interiors product to be designed by Armani.
Armani/Casa flagship store opens at Via Manzoni 311, Milan.
Due to increasing demand for made-to-measure design projects for private clients, the Interior Design Studio by Armani/Casa now opens.
Molteni & C and Armani/Casa create a new partnership for future production and distribution of kitchen systems with the brand Armani/Dada.
Armani/Casa Exclusive Textiles by Rubelli is established – a partnership between the two companies for the production and distribution of furnishing fabrics.
Armani/Roca launches for the production and sale of a new bathroom concept. This year also sees the first Armani Hotel open in Dubai within the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
The second Armani Hotel opens in Milan, just a few steps from the renowned La Scala theatre and the historic district of Brera.
Armani/Casa works in partnership with Jannelli & Volpi to launch the ‘Exclusive Wallcoverings’ collection, extending its homes offering
The limited-edition ‘Justin’ desk is launched, with only 40 numbered pieces to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Giorgio Armani brand. ‘The Art of Living’ by Giorgio Armani, a retrospective of Armani/Casa Interior Design Studio’s most important global projects,
is presented in Milan.
‘The Art of Living’ retrospective goes on tour, travelling to design capital Beijing.
Armani/Casa opens a strategic location on Corso Venezia 14 in Milan, directly between both the fashion and the design districts of the city.
In March, the Armani Group announces the opening of the Giorgio Armani and Armani/Casa boutiques on London’s Sloane Street. For the first time, this completely renovated space houses both boutiques, adjacent to each other and interconnected, with dedicated signage and five display windows.
Today, Armani/Casa is a worldwide brand, with stores located in all major cities, including Milan, Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing.
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