Giorgio Armani celebrated his company’s 40th anniversary in Milan this week: and in true Italian fashion, he did so with the most beautiful and charismatic people on the planet.
The stars were out in force to pay tribute to the legendary designer. Celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Glenn Close, Chris Pine and Cate Blanchett were on hand for the two-day extravaganza. Even Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi took time out from the Milan Expo for a personal audience with the fashion icon.
Day one of the celebration was a whirlwind of events: a store opening, dinner, and a party at Armani’s personal club Privé – complete with Boy George in command of the turntables. But it was the following day that drew the most attention. Day two saw the launch of Armani/Silos, a permanent new exhibition space intended less as a museum and more an evolving experience that adapts to the tides of fashion.
The Silos building is exactly that: a former granary silo for the Nestlé company, standing opposite the Armani headquarters in Milan – itself a refashioned chocolate factory designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando in 2000.
The four-story gallery space houses an impressive 600 individual garments from the past thirty years, organised by theme and pulled from Armani’s ready-to-wear collections… although there are rumours of a separate haute couture gallery to house the icon’s more esoteric designs.
The anniversary ended with a catwalk retrospective of the Italian’s storied career. Celebrities lining the front rows were treated to a showcase of 11 themes and over 90 looks, barely scratching the surface of Armani’s history and influence on the industry he helped redefine. But if the designer was feeling particularly nostalgic throughout the anniversary, he wasn’t showing it:
“This job doesn’t allow you to dream much, you must have your feet planted on the ground. I will be 81 in July and dedicated almost all my time to work,” Armani lamented to Women’s Wear Daily.
He may not dream often; but with his 40-year legacy now chronicled in a gallery dedicated to his achievements, dreaming somehow seems less fulfilling than the reality of success.
You can read more on Armani’s legacy with FIB’s Masters of Fashion, Vol. 2, Italians, available now on Amazon.