Giorgio Armani was born outside of Milan in 1934. In school, Armani had a passion for cinema and theater. He initially studied medicine, but turned to photography instead. After returning from the national service, Armani started his career designing the window displays of a department store working up to a menswear buyer.
From 1960 to 1972, Armani worked as a designer for the house of Nino Cerutti. Next he moved to independently working for many fashion houses before founding his own brand. He presented his first men’s collection in 1975 as well as a women’s collection later that year. In 1979, Giorgio Armani expanded his brand overseas to the United States. He released several new lines including a line of swimwear, underwear, Armani Junior and Giorgio Armani accessories. In 1980, he gained a wider audience when the movie, American Gigolo, was released in the United States as the main character, Richard Gere, wore his suit designs. In the next few years, Armani continued designing men’s and women’s clothing at different price points.
In 1987, Armani expanded overseas once again when he opened a store in Japan. The following year, Armani ventured into the world of eyewear. In 2000, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the brand, Armani opened their website offering their products to customers in the comfort of their own home. In the next years came Armani/Spa, skincare, Armani Residences, Armani/Ginza Tower and Armani/Hotel in Milan.
Giorgio Armani remains the company's current President, Chief Executive Officer and sole shareholder.
Armani ventured into fragrances in 1982 with Armani Pour Femme. Perfumers who have made fragrance for the Armani line include Alberto Morillas, Loc Dong, Dominique Ropion, Olivier Cresp, Antoine Lee, Olivier Polge, Francis Kurkdjian and Jean-Claude Ellena. Their first big success was Acqua di Gio for women in 1995. Other mainstream fragrances include Attitude, Code, Mania, Red, White, Diamonds, Idole d’Armani, Sensi, Si and the Onde line.
In 2004, Armani came out with their high-end niche line Armani Prive. The first fragrances in this line were Bois d’Encens, Eau de Jade, Pierre de Lune and Ambre Soie. There are currently 20 fragrances in the Prive Collection. In 2011 the first fragrance in the Prive Les Editions Couture Collection was launched - La Femme Bleue. There are currently six fragrances in this collection. In 2010 they introduced the Prive One Thousand and One Nights Collection including Oud Royal, Rose d’Arabie and Ambre Orient. These fragrances were followed by four more - Cuir Noir in 2011, Rose d'Arabie L'Or du Desert and Myrrhe Imperiale in 2013 and Rose d'Arabie Limited Edition Swarovski in 2014. In 2016 the Prive Terres Precieuses Collection was launched with Rouge Malachite and Vert Malachite. They were followed in 2017 by Rouge Malachite Limited Edition L'Or de Russie and in 2018 by Bleu Lazuli and Bleu Turquoise.