The Giorgio Armani Group is one of the leading fashion and luxury goods groups in the world today with over 5,000 direct employees and 13 factories. It designs, manufactures, distributes and retails fashion and lifestyle products including apparel, accessories, eyewear, watches, jewellery, home furnishings, fragrances and cosmetics under a range of brand names: Giorgio Armani Privé, Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, Armani Collezioni, AJ | Armani Jeans, A/X Armani Exchange, Armani Junior, Armani Teen, Armani Baby and Armani Casa.
With approximately 500 stores worldwide, the Group's exclusive retail network currently comprises: 81 Giorgio Armani boutiques, 171 Emporio Armani stores, 17 Armani Collezioni stores, 165 A/X Armani Exchange stores, 16 AJ | Armani Jeans stores, 6 Armani Junior stores e 33 Armani Casa stores in 46 countries.
Giorgio Armani S.p.A. was founded in Milan on July 24th, 1975 by Sergio Galeotti and Giorgio Armani - the company’s current President, Chief Executive Officer and sole shareholder - and later that year, the first Giorgio Armani Borgonuovo 21 ready-to-wear collection (S/S 1976) was presented.
After a successful first year of operations, Giorgio Armani S.p.A. began to broaden its portfolio of clients and expanded its European presence. The year 1978 marked an important turning point in the company’s history when it established a licensing agreement with GFT (Gruppo Finanziario Tessile), giving Giorgio Armani S.p.A. the opportunity to invest in a new headquarters that included showrooms and press offices.
In 1979 the business started its overseas expansion by establishing the Giorgio Armani Corporation in the United States. By the end of the 70s Giorgio Armani S.p.A. had emerged as one of the leading international fashion house and had launched several new lines: Le Collezioni, Mani, Armani Junior, Giorgio Armani accessories, underwear and swimwear.
In the early 80s Giorgio Armani S.p.A. established an important licence agreement with L'Oreal (formerly H.Rubinstein) for fragrances and also launched the Emporio Armani and Armani Jeans collections. In the same period Giorgio Armani S.p.A. opened the first Emporio Armani store (Milan) followed the next year with the opening of the first Giorgio Armani boutique (Milan). The company also began to strengthen its commercial and marketing divisions, while building the values of its brands and the philosophy of management, which continue to be fundamental to the success of the business today.
In the second half of the 80s, Giorgio Armani S.p.A. continued its overseas expansion by opening Giorgio Armani Japan in 1987 through a joint venture with Japanese Itochu Corporation and the Seibu Department Store, followed by the signing of a licensing agreement for eyewear with Luxottica Group Spa in 1988.
As part of its strategy to maintain control over product quality and distribution, Giorgio Armani S.p.A. initiated a series of share investments, which today include Intai Spa (100%), Antinea Srl (100%) and the manufacturing company Simint Spa (100%), the complete acquisition of which was finalized in 2001 through an OPA.
In 1999, a new Accessories Division was created including a first e-commerce presence with www.armaniexchange.com in the United States.
In 2000, Giorgio Armani's, 25th anniversary year, the company acquired the production and distribution facilities of the Armani Collezioni and Mani men’s lines from GFT. The company also launched its global web site at www.giorgioarmani.com and established a joint venture with Zegna Group (51% Armani, 49% Zegna) for the production and distribution of the Armani Collezioni men’s line, launched Giorgio Armani Cosmetics, the new Armani Casa home interiors collection and opened its new Armani multi-brand worldwide flagship at Milan’s Via Manzoni 31.
In 2001, continuing with the Group’s strategy to take greater control over all aspects of its manufacturing, distribution and retail activities and to further focus on the ‘Made in Italy’ content of its brands, a joint venture company with Vestimenta SpA (one of the Armani Group’s licensees since 1979) was formed for the production and distribution of the men’s and women’s Giorgio Armani top line. The company also opened the first Giorgio Armani Accessori store (Milano) and worldwide commercial offices and showrooms, including the Armani/Teatro realized in collaboration with architect Tadao Ando.
In 2002, the Group's retail investment programme continued at a fast pace with 16 store renovations and 30 new store openings in strategically important cities worldwide, including the second Armani multi-brand store covering 3,000 square meters at Chater House in Hong Kong, which also signalled the launch of a strategic retail expansion programme for China. On the manufacturing front, two important acquisitions were completed: Deanna S.p.A. for the production of high quality knitwear and Guardi, which controlled four specialist shoe makers, to support the further growth of the Group's shoe business. Product line expansion continued with the launch of Emporio Armani Jewellery; the expansion of the Armani Jeans line in Japan and the United States; and, the further growth of the Armani Casa brand around the world through the opening of seven new stand alone stores in Milan, Istanbul, Zurich, Hong Kong, Moscow, Marbella and Riyadh. Safilo S.p.A is awarded with a new licence for the production and distribution of Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani Eyewear.
The year 2003 once again saw the Group investing significantly in its retail network with 11 renovations and a further 30 new openings, including the third Armani multi-brand store covering 1,000 square meters at Theatiner 12 in Munich (the first Emporio Armani store in Germany). In addition, the world-wide roll-out of exclusive Giorgio Armani Cosmetics counters in select specialty and department stores is accelerated as a result of the outstanding sales performance in existing outlets. Giorgio Armani Men’s fragrances are worldwide best seller in 2003.
In the five years from 1998 to 2003 the Armani Group will have spent upwards of Euro 600 million of internally generated funds on strategically important activities, including the evolution of its manufacturing base, the expansion and renovation of its retail network, the diversification of its product lines and the enhancement of its headquarters facilities in Milan.
In the year 2004 the Armani Group awards Wolford AG, a multi-year license for the worldwide production and distribution of a new line of Giorgio Armani hosiery and bodywear.
Giorgio Armani S.p.A. and EMAAR Properties PJSC signed a Letter of Intent for the establishment of an innovative worldwide collection of ‘Armani luxury hotels and resorts’.
Giorgio Armani opens Armani/Three on the Bund in Shanghai, which includes Giorgio Armani boutique, Emporio Armani, Emporio Armani Caffè, Armani Fiori and Armani Dolci areas.
In 2005, Giorgio Armani S.p.A. announces new important strategic initiatives which underline the company’s continued approach to expansion: the launch of Armani Privé couture collection reflecting the increasing desire for customization and personalization at the top end of the market; and at the end of the year, the exclusive world of Armani/Privé expands its frontiers with the launch of Borgo 21 timepieces; a formal contractual agreement is signed between Giorgio Armani S.p.A. and EMAAR Hotels & Resorts LLC for the development of an exclusive collection of ‘Armani Hotels and Resorts’, foreseeing the opening of at least seven luxury hotels and three vacation resorts within the next ten years. At the end of October, the Armani Group using the TWFA Exhibition in Cannes as a platform announces its plans for a ‘fast-track’ expansion in the Duty Free and Travel Retail marketplace, declaring its future planned openings at London Heathrow airport, in Guam’s prestigious redevelopment of the DFS Galleria and at Japan’s Narita airport. Meanwhile, another agreement is also established between Giorgio Armani S.p.a and Como Holdings, Inc. to create a new joint venture company, called Presidio Holdings Ltd., for the management and expansion of the A/X Armani Exchange brand throughout the world. Finally, a global beauty website www.giorgioarmanibeauty.com is launched, demonstrating the company’s commitment to embrace fashion and beauty within the online sphere.
In 2006, the Armani Group announces his support of the (Product) RED, the pioneering global business initiative launched by Bono and Bobby Shriver for The Global Fund in the fight against AIDS in Africa. In support of RED, Armani is designing an Emporio Armani (Product) RED capsule collection, including clothing, accessories, eyewear, watches, jewellery and fragrances. Also casual wear is still going strong and becomes more popular than ever: while Armani Jeans celebrates its first 25th Anniversary, a special series of athletic shoes for Spring / Summer 2007 season is created by a collaboration between Giorgio Armani and Mizuno – style finally meets technology.
In 2007 the capital investment reached 100 million Euros. This was mainly used to develop and strengthen the retail network and was entirely self-funded.
The world’s first Armani Residences opened in the Burj Dubai and the first group of apartments sold out in a few hours.
In 2007, the Giorgio Armani skincare collection was launched: Crema Nera for women and Skin Minerals for men.
Also in 2007, Armani’s fourth concept store after Milan, Hong Kong and Munich, was opened in Tokyo’s Armani/Ginza Tower; the store covers 6,000 square metres and includes the first Armani/Spa.
During the same year, a strategic marketing agreement was signed between Giorgio Armani and Samsung to develop high-end electronic and consumer products, including the launch of a Giorgio Armani mobile phone, the Armani/Samsung Television and the Emporio Armani Samsung mobile, “Night Effect “.
The end of the year saw the launch of Emporio Armani’s US e-commerce website, with services to be extended to Europe in 2008.
In 2008, Giorgio Armani S.p.A. and Como Holdings, Inc. announced the Armani Group’s acquisition of a further 25% of the joint venture company Presidio Holdings Ltd, with both shareholders now enjoying equal holdings in the company.
The same year, the retail network expanded again, opening the first. Emporio Armani flagship stores in Moscow and Beijing, also entering the Indian market with a Giorgio Armani boutique and an Emporio Armani store in New Delhi.
2008 closed with the announcement of work starting on construction of the Armani/Hotel in Milan, to open in 2010.
Armani/5th Avenue in New York will be the fifth Armani concept store and will be inaugurated in February 2009.