Giorgio Armani on His 40th Anniversary

This past June, Giorgio Armani opened Armani/Silos, his own museum in the center of Milan, to showcase his life and work. It’s been a big year for the house of Armani—but not as big as 1975 was.

armani1Forty years ago the legendary brand began, and today it is one of the most successful fashion companies in the world. But this is an industry that tends to favor the future. There were celebrations around the anniversary and the Armani/Silos opening, and then it was time to get back to work.

Recently in Milan, the house presented their spring ’16 collection, and we were lucky enough to get some time with the iconic designer himself.

Here’s what Giorgio Armani had to say to our Senior Writer Laura Cassidy about consistency, passion, dedication and desire.

Click here for our Milan Fashion Week coverage

Shop: Armani Collezioni

armani2Armani looks from the ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s

Laura Cassidy: Congratulations on a beautiful collection—and on forty years of fashion! How do you stay true to your DNA while still offering a new, fresh take on design and style each season?

Giorgio Armani: I think that a great deal of consistency is required. My journey has been one shaped by this very consistency and continual research into harmony of lines, innovative materials, sophistication and quality.

My idea of style and my taste have not changed from when I started forty years ago; they reflect a deep appreciation for everything that is simple and linear. This goes along with the desire to keep up with the times. There is no secret or philosophy behind all of this. There is only passion and complete dedication to my work that I wouldn’t change for anything in the world and now is part and parcel of my life.

armani3Armani looks from the early ’90s to 2014

Birthdays and anniversaries always allow us the opportunity to reflect. What was happening in the world when Armani started; what were you responding to in the world around you at that time? And what about right now; what are the important social movements that you and the house are inspired by?

Forty years ago the world was one in which new technology and modernity were advancing at a great speed in every field, but less so in the field of design. We were more or less still bound by the same cut of clothing that had been worn by our fathers and grandparents.

The mid ’70s was a pioneering time for Italian fashion, a time of change and potential. At the time, the concept of a designer was practically unknown. Personally, I knew that I had something of my own to add, something original to say. I noticed men and women who were looking for something new, more suitable for changing roles and professional opportunities that were coming into being. This was my main stimulus. I recognized a need at the time and realized that I had a market.

Over the years, I have tried to keep up with the times, using new techniques and means of communication and always paying close attention to reality, which stimulates and inspires me. This is the only way that you can sense changes in society.

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