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Emporio Armani: 40 years of fluid dialogues, sustainability and civil commitment

Echoing the way people live in metropolitan cities, Mr. Armani celebrates its 40th anniversary looking forward: sustainability is a chance for the entire city of Milano, not only for the fashion industry

Giorgio Armani and the history of Milan

Starting with the Emporio Armani men’s and women’s Spring/ Summer 2022 collection, held in the Armani Teatro, the events are tied to a shared heritage and future. The show marks the brand’s return to live audiences after a few seasons of streaming presentations and video projects. To anticipate the events, the Maison organized a series of billboards that appeared from September 13th in some of the places considered as the symbols of  Milan, like Corso Garibaldi and Via Tortona. Additionally, a mural in Via Broletto was installed through which the designer showed his support to the city and acknowledged its resilience through the pandemic. «Milan is the city where I chose to live, a city that welcomed me, understood me, and has always been a source of inspiration ever since my first job at La Rinascente», explains Mr. Armani. For its anniversary, Emporio Armani planned the customization of bus and tram shelters throughout the city, including the Garibaldi and Central Station and some areas of the Malpensa airport. 

Sustainability and circular economy: Armani endeavors 

For decades the Armani Group has presented a long-standing commitment to environmental social and ethical issues. The attention to the environment in particular, together with the responsible use of natural resources are topics close to Armani, who faces sustainable topics as the traceability of the whole process from raw material to end of product life. It is an ethical issue even before being strategic. For the designer, the consumer must be educated through the quality and the transparency of the product. Today, even though technologies facilitate the transition from fabric to yarns, what Armani aims for is the use of natural fibers and the selection of raw materials with low environmental impact. In addition, many researches have been conducted for the introduction of materials from recovery of production waste. Earth is not only a planet, it is our home, our matter.   

Sustainability is a subject which concerns everyone. Big corporations influence the public through their choices and communication, but for Armani the attention and awareness of the topic should be a starting point for an empathy towards our surroundings, with consumers keeping consumers more responsible and business to produce more responsibly. To do so, everyone should be cooperating in finding shared solutions. Looking at fashion from a sustainable perspective, and reflecting at the same time a common desire to be a responsible industry. Giorgio Armani still tackles issues such as damaged marine forest ecosystems, global warming, as well as water shortages. 

The European water sector is a major player, and an investment in water could be the engine that accelerates economic growth, together with the responsible use of tap water and reusable water bottle, which reduce impact on the environment. Everything that surrounds us is an archive of what our lives have been and are today. According to the designer, people should invest in green cities: planting trees and supporting the growth of green areas is both an ethical value and a financial investment for the safety of our future. A new energy, a circular economy which forces people to rethink everything. An example of a forestation project in Milan is ForestaMi, that the Armani Group has been supporting. Born from the research of Politecnico di Milano with the Falck Foundation and FS Sistemi Urbani, ForestaMI aims to involve the participation of both public and private entities with the aim of planting, by 2030, 3 million new trees in the city. The presence of trees in metropolitan areas helps to regulate the climate, enhancing the reabsorption of rainwater and strong winds. Energy costs are reduced because the presence of the trees helps to regulate the heating and cooling of buildings. Mr. Armani looks for a society where human and nature could live together, in a coexistence of nature and architecture, for the safety of people from all the future effects of disaster. 

The Air Mail newsstand: Largo Treves and Fabrizio Prestinari

The customizations also appeared on the historic newsstand in Largo Treves, renewed and reopened with the collaboration of Air Mail. Opened in 1990, the space has faced chaos amid stop and go retail closures along with the printed media losing market share. The Air mail x Largo Treves newsstand is a testament to the ongoing engagement in the media ecosystem. Throughout the month of September, Mr. Fabrizio Prestinari and Air Mail has secured a partner in Giorgio Armani, who remains a dedicated supporter of printed matter, both newspapers and magazines. «There is something real to the ritual of going in the morning at the newsstand, choosing what catches the eye», says Mr. Armani. «Print is substantial, and made to stay: we have to preserve and support it». Emporio Armani is known for its contributions to print media and visual cultures. Since the Eighties, the label’s signature communication style developed on billboards in Milan and through the voice of Emporio Armani Magazine. They have been pillars in the construction of its identity. Against the backdrop of Milan, Emporio Armani celebrates its 40th anniversary. The city, the origin and headquarter of Giorgio Armani, is a place where cultures come together, an inspiration for Armani himself and for society. Each trend emerges from the concept of society; having similar perceptions and emotions in different countries, which can be combined together to then aspire to a connectedness. A celebration of the principles of identity, community and sustainability, which are still at the heart of the brand, are as relevant in 1981 as they are today.

Emporio Armani Magazine 

To mark the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Emporio Armani, a special collectable issue of Emporio Armani Magazine was released on September 23rd. This is the nineteenth Armani special under the guidance of Rosanna Armani with the art directed by Christoph Radl and the creative consultancy from Antonio Moscogiuri.

Originally, Emporio Armani Magazine was born as an extension of Westudd, an art magazine founded in Florence in 1984. A revolutionary magazine in aesthetics and an aggregative place where anyone can find tools of personal expression. The paper not only explored the world of Armani but also addressed current and changing issues through reportage and photographs belonging to names like Peter Lindbergh and Aldo Fallai.

Giorgio Armani was a forerunner in desiring that big brands create their own content: the inclusive spirit spawned a visionary publication in the form of a biannual magazine. Nineteen issues have been published between 1988 and 1998. To celebrate his 40th anniversary, Armani decided to bring his newspaper back to newsstands, 23 years after its last edition. Entitled The Way We Are, the special edition is a fusion of fashion and editorials with contributions from a host of international collaborators and authors. Six photographers – Aldo Fallai, Max Vadukul, Julia Hetta, Nico Bustos, Matthew Brookes and Brett LIoyd – interpreted the Emporio Armani collections in the pages of the Magazine. The six fashion spreads are introduced, each by a short story written by film critic Mariarosa Mancuso, adding another narrative aura to the cinematic quality of the images.

The cover image of Mars, along with the current relevance of the planet, is central to the magazine’s content and the world of Armani. ‘Living in the moment’ has been an omnipresent theme in the Armani world: to live life to its fullest, you must be aware of the past. The Magazine explores this topic through words and images, simultaneously remaining faithful to the core Emporio philosophy: be the change you want to see. 

The intense and varied series of activities underscores the dynamic and democratic spirit of the Maison which, since 1981, has echoed and interpreted the way people live in metropolitan cities. «I first started Emporio Armani as a way to channel my aesthetic of elegance and simplicity in a youthful, metropolitan direction, and it soon became known for its own distinctive look», affirms Mr. Armani.

Armani: The Way We are exhibition 

Among the events which reflect and celebrate Emporio Armani’s contemporary and inclusive attitude, the exhibition, The Way We Are, is a manifesto recounting the essence of the brand: Armani Silos hosts four decades of Armani’s history, showcased through clothes, images and videos, summarizing its spirit. 

Designed and curated by Giorgio Armani, the exhibition presents a selection of materials from the historical archive of the Maison. The itinerary tells the origins and evolution of Emporio Armani, emphasizing its revolutionary relationship with the world of communication and images. Divided by themes, The Way We Are is conceived ad hoc for the Armani / Silos space, structured as a free path made up of images, videos and a selection of clothes from the origins to the present day. It was in 1981 when Giorgio Armani realized that fashion was often a far reach from people’s everyday life, especially the younger ones. This is why the designer decided to make his fashion as inclusive as possible, addressing the new generations directly and creating a more contemporary, urban, democratic and accessible line: he gave life to Emporio Armani, offering collections with a capable approach, from mix streetwear to elegance, sobriety, modernity and dynamism, all with affordable prices. «When I moved to Milan, I got to observe people. Milan at the time was a bursting, innovative city, and people were constantly on the lookout for something new», states Armani.

The collection and the sporty silhouettes abound for Spring 2022 

When Giorgio Armani launched Emporio Armani in 1981, the idea of a line targeting young people was a new concept, a bet on a more accessible range of products and how they would have affected the house’ image. Today, with the Spring Summer 2022 show celebrating its 40th year, the brand is still faithful to its original intention. 

Drawing inspiration from classic Armani tailoring, the garment structure is amplified by the futuristic catwalk. 

The narrative of the show began in a fictional desert, crossing its oasis and ending in vibrant color ways.  A series of denim motifs opened the show, followed by tonal patchwork that stayed true to the brand’s heritage. A sense of identity carried the collection, creating a dialogue between the male and female world, merging them together through their mutual differences. Floor-length coats, wide leg cargo pants along with oversized shirts: all shared a similar rigidity, despite their size. The label used its structure to experiment with garments through zipper placement, off-centered cuts and belts. A revolution of movements is unveiled in the first segment of garments in navy blue and featured square patterning. Steering away from denim, durability came in a modern view with a sense of future nostalgia. The longest movements in the runway show were a collection of brown utilitarian looks with dystopian cuts and uniform style. With heavy stripe patterns, these looks reflected a utopian future. Womenswear collection took a different direction on the timeline, recalling vintage women’s tailoring with padded shoulders and cigarette style suiting. As the collection progressed, fluid cuts were introduced with colors changing into blue and nautical themes, together with roping details and red stripes. Finally, the narrative met its end with vibrant colors: blues and greens clashed against reds and pinks with exaggerated jewelry influenced by the traces of distant cultures. «Youth today is not a question of age» Armani explained «Emporio continues to be a container brand in which everyone can find something. The spirit is free, metropolitan and dynamic».

Emporio Armani 40th anniversary

Emporio Armani celebrates its 40th years with Armani/Silos hosting the exhibition – manifesto The Way We Are in Milan, as well as the Spring/Summer 2022 collection held in the Armani/Teatro, the brand’s first return to a live audience show. 

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