European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal Designers

Armani & Celebrities: Styling Icons

celebritiesEuropean fashioneventsItalian fashionItalian stylered carpet

From the big screen to the red carpet: Giorgio Armani’s inspiring relationship with the world of Cinema

I’ve often wondered what my life would have been without film. Surely I would not have become the man and designer that I am today. For me, films were not only a youthful passion that continued into adulthood, but also a constant source of ideas and inspiration, a mine of images upon which to draw on and build my world. Films are a repertoire of visions that have indelibly forged my style, as well as the way I understand both elegance and communication.

Giorgio Armani

Giorgio Armani has always indicated cinema as one of his biggest inspirations: something that comes from his childhood and still is a big part of his creative process:

Like all children, I had countless dreams. Mine in particular were inspired by Hollywood and the movies that I saw at the cinema with my family. I allowed myself to fantasise in those almost sacred moments, and those images opened my mind, giving me the ideas and inspirations that are still a part of me today.

The first movie Mr Armani was involved in was American Gigolo, for which he provided the clothes for the main character, played by Richard Gere. The clothes aligned with the vision of director Paul Schrader and almost became a co-star of the movie. Once of the outfits worn by Gere is now on show at the Armani / Silos in Milan. Famous movies where the main characters wear Armani are The Untouchables, The Object of Beauty, The Grifters, Entrapment, Gattaca, Stealing Beauty, Heat, Goodfellas, The Usual Suspects, Shaft, The Departed, Michael Clayton, The Dark Knight, The Wolf of Wall Street, Elysium, amongst others.

Many celebrities choose to wear Armani for the red carpet too. The designer understands their taste and needs proposing creations that are recognisable for craftsmanship and elegance. Numerous looks worn by the likes of Cate Blanchett, Sharon Stone, Juliette Binoche and Angelina Jolie are on display at the Armani / Silos, where people can see them closely and then learn about these dresses browsing the files of the Armani Digital Archive.

Amongst the people that Giorgio Armani dressed over the years is Jodie Foster, who famously won her Oscar in 1992 wearing an Armani white suit. Of the experience, Foster said

Mr. Armani can walk into a room and turn everything upside down in this very quiet, authoritative way. Once we had decided on a dress for the Oscars. It was all fitted and ready to go. He arrived, shook his head, and then sent everyone scrambling for different fabrics and dresses. Mr. Armani started pinning things (…) while speaking to me in French with that adorable Italian accent: “C’est mieux comme Ça, non?” And, yes, it was much, much better. 

For Giorgio Armani though, the importance of the red carpet is based on the visibility of these creations and the impact they have on his wider clientele:

Celebrities have a strong impact on people, who can identify with them and are influenced by what they choose to wear. (…)  my work – even that created for the stars – is never a stylistic exercise that serves as an end to itself, but is based on a solid and real idea appreciated by all of my clients.