The Italian designer pairs personal images with recollections about his way of living and working while reflecting on his formative years
Words by ELIZABETH VARNELL
Photos courtesy of GIORGIO ARMANI
“Fashion may be the backdrop, but what it really talks about is life,” writes Giorgio Armani in his newest volume, Per Amore (Rizzoli, $26), an autobiographical collection of stories, memories, and images that’s in bookstores this week. The work, available only in print editions, expands on an illustrated memoir the designer published in 2015 to celebrate his eponymous brand’s 40th anniversary. Now Armani reveals more intimate accounts of various moments in his life, from his childhood in Piacenza to the city’s Teatro Municipale, where he became captivated by the set design in a staging of La Bohème and discovered the cinema (where four lire bought a ticket to Sunday screenings). “But when I was young, movies were my real education,” he writes. “Much more than what I learned at school, they shaped my imagination, my culture, my tastes.”
Throughout the volume, Armani describes the energy of Milan and the impact of events involving his family on his life and work. He first ventured to Rome’s Cinecittà with his sister Rosanna for her screen test and wandered around the studios while he waited. She was also at his side the first time Armani met Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakech. The book ties together Armani’s statements about himself and his career, two facets of his life that have always been intertwined. It also gives context to the great era of Italian fashion during which he launched his career, creating an entirely new style of men’s suit—at the request of Nino Cerruti—and women’s designs from ready-to-wear to accessories, leather, and knitwear. Armani describes how from his early start as a designer he sought to create both elegant menswear and looks for women that put them on equal footing with men.
Explaining the tome’s title, Armani calls it both “soft and provocative, which is surprisingly representative of my character.” Out of love, he says, he expands on the collected thoughts that comprise the memoir, which explains the title and his decision to share more of himself along with his many bywords, including “drawing,” “showing,” “imagining the body,” “being exhibited,” “telling it like it is,” “clear thinking,” “less,” and “after.”
Giorgio Armani, Leo Dell’Orco and Andrea Camerana.
Giorgio Armani with his mother and brother Sergio, 1937.
March 30, 2023.
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