#Atribute to Facesnovembre 30 / 2014
In Armani’s world,
fame should always be a consequence
of talent and dedication.
If, as the saying goes, the eyes are the windows to the soul, then the face must surely be its mansion.
And a famous face is of course all the more captivating as it brings with it a whole series of associations based on our relationship with the person’s work, image, reputation and history.
Famous faces tell stories, and are also useful for helping others tell stories too, which is something that Giorgio Armani recognised many years ago, after discovering the power of actors to help promote his aesthetic.
His first successful partnership with a celebrity perhaps cannot really be classified as such, because when the designer dressed Richard Gere for American Gigolo (1980), the young American actor was not yet famous. In many ways, the Armani - Gere meeting was fortuitous for both parties, and took place at a time when both their careers were taking off.
However, as the film garnered attention, the fashion designer learned an important lesson – aligning your look to a powerful, recognised personality was a sure fire way of getting the public to engage with it.
Since then, Armani has worked with many famous faces, and often, as happened with Richard Gere, he will identify with those on the cusp of major success, those who strike him as stars of the future – for example, Eva Green, Michael Pitt and Louis Garrel, the leads in Bernardo Bertolucci's film The Dreamers, who became the new faces of the Emporio Armani autumn/winter 2004/2005 collection, and model and actor Milla Jovovich, who Armani worked with while she was establishing her screen career.
Importantly, though, never one to applaud fame for its own sake, Armani limits himself to working with those he admires – for their work, their talent, their dedication, their symbolic status.
Or indeed, to those with whom he has a personal relationship – which is something that tends to develop in any case, through the collaboration, if indeed it did not exist before.
Armani sportsmen are great sportsmen – like Andriy Shevchenko the legendary AC Milan footballer and captain of Ukraine, who modelled Armani Collezione, footballer Cristano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and captain of Portugal) who modelled Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani Jeans, and England football team captain David Beckham, who also appeared in Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani Jeans.
Other sportsmen to have featured in Armani include tennis champion Rafael Nadal, Italian Olympic swimmer Luca Dotto and even Spanish bullfighter Cayetano Rivera Ordóñez.
Equally, musicians who have become ambassadors for Armani possess great talent: Beyoncé, who featured in the advertising campaign for Emporio Armani Diamonds, a scent launched in 2007, and Rihanna, Grammy-award winner and multi-million record seller, who was shot on location in New York for Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani Jeans for autumn/winter 2011-12.
More recently, Calvin Harris, the internationally renowned DJ, singer, songwriter and music producer has fronted the campaigns for the Emporio Armani Eyewear and Watch collections for spring/summer 2015, having previously appeared in advertisements for Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani Jeans.
However, as presaged by his experience working with Richard Gere on American Gigolo all those years ago, it has been in the field of film that Armani has excelled when it comes to identifying his clothes, fragrances and accessories with recognisable faces.
Sarah Gadon, Megan Fox, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Chris Pine, Justin Chambers – these are just some of the actors who Armani has championed in his campaigns.
A particular favourite of the designer is Australian actor Cate Blanchett, who is the face of the Giorgio Armani Sì fragrance. ‘Cate Blanchett epitomises the woman for whom I love designing. With her immense talent, she has come to embody the ideal Armani woman: serene, confident, elegant, at ease with herself and with the world,’ he says. Notably, it is her talent that attracts him, as well as her looks and character.
In Armani’s world, fame should always be a consequence of talent and dedication – as these are the qualities he credits as being fundamental to his own success.