European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal EFHA World

Meeting Fashion Heritage: Armani/Silos

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We are thrilled to be back with MFH to introduce our new EFHA member and provider: Armani/Silos

Armani/Silos is a living, open-to-the-public space illustrating Giorgio Armani’s professional experience, revealing a rich heritage of unique know-how: a space in which to design the future, a showcase of new attitudes and lifestyles that capture changing times and cultures.

Opened on April 30th 2015, on the occasion of the celebrations marking the 40th year of his career, Armani/Silos is located at via Bergognone 40 in Milan, in a building that was originally the granary of a major international company,

Giorgio Armani decided to renovate the building but keep the name: ‘I decided to call it Silos because this building used to store food, which is, of course, essential for life. For me, just as much as food, clothes are also a part of life.’

The renovation project preserved the building’s original shape, while inside, the building invites visitors in a four-floor high open space, where to admire a selection of clothes and accessories from the Armani Archives.

Giorgio Armani decided to set up the Silos to show how the history of fashion is central for understanding cultural shifts and societal changes: ‘fashion, which seems to want to live in an eternal present, needs to reflect on itself and its own roots in order to face the future. Through this process of reflection, we see how fashion accompanies and often anticipates important social changes. Remembering what we were like in the past can help us understand what we might be in the future.’

The permanent exhibition, covering three floors of the building, is structured around three narrative paths that trace the designer’s creative work from 1980 to the present day, with a selection of approximately 400 outfits and 200 accessories. On the first floor is ‘Androgino/Androgynous’, with a selection of garments that narrate the quintessence of Armani style, combining simplicity and precision with a surprising fluidity. On the second floor, ‘Etnie/Ethnicities’ evokes distant cultures and countries that have ignited the designer’s imagination. The top floor hosts ‘Stars’, which illustrates Giorgio Armani’s profound connection with the world of film and entertainment, reliving the glamour of Hollywood nights.

The space includes not only the exhibition areas but also a gift shop and an open-plan indoor coffee shop; it also houses a Digital Archive of sketches, technical drawings and material on the prêt-à-porter Giorgio Armani and couture Giorgio Armani Privé collections intended for researchers and fans who want to find out more about Giorgio Armani’s work and style. Located on the top floor, the archive is open for free consultation and features a cataloguing system developed specifically for Armani/Silos. Workstations, touchscreen tables and a screening area are the tools available to the public.