I was first introduced to Armani in 1993. The then girlfriend would travel to Covent Garden in London to buy Armani jeans and t-shirts, as there was no stockist in Oxford.
I was more into my American sports gear. Baseball caps, NFL t-shirts and of course the latest trainers. As women are want to, she set about changing my wardrobe. Out went the Raiders t-shirts and Lakers jacket. In it’s place Armani.
I must admit I was an easy sell. The quality, ft and style were a world away from my usual attire.
Around the same time my then landlord took a photography course. The image at the top was one of the shots from a session I did for him. I harboured dreams of Armani calling and appearing on the catwalks of Milan. Sadly this never happened.
Armani vs Emporio Armani
So enamoured was I with my new brand of choice I quickly became aware of the differences between Armani and Emporio Armani.
Emporio is a cheaper range aimed at a younger market. The main purpose is to attract them to the brand and eventually to the higher priced better quality Armani range. As a student, with rent to pay there was no way I could afford Armani. So I wore Emporio. At £30 for a plain T-shirt it still wasn’t cheap. But you do get what you pay for. Worn and washed at least once a week, if not more. They never lost shape or faded.
I did however, for years to come, lust over the Armani range. Anytime I was in a city that had an Armani store I would pop in for a look at the latest offerings from the fashion maestro.
Eventually in the late 90’s I found myself in New York with a £1500 tax rebate and 24 hours. I went straight to Saks Fifth Avenue and up to the menswear department. Determined not to leave till I had some Armani clothes. I left with a pair of trousers and two shirts. As well as a pair of Donna Karen shoes. I was the best dressed call centre agent in history!
As any parent knows having kids is a drain on the finances. Even Emporio is probably stretching the budget at this stage. It doesn’t stop me internet window shopping though. Given an unlimited budget I think I could find a few things from the current range to wear. I think I’d stand out a bit in rural Ireland though!
The Armani Brand Now
Over the years brands have evolved. Back in the 90’s the runway shows, attracted the consumers to the Armani range, the Emporio lines got the younger audience into the brand and then onto the high end goods.
Slowly there were more revenue streams added. Glass frames, watches, jewelry etc. Nowadays there are many different clothing ranges, men’s Lifestyle and beauty as well as hotels.
Considering Armani only started the brand in his forties and now has a personal fortune of over €7billion the brand is going from strength to strength.