Forza fashion: The pioneering vision of Armani

Emporio Armani celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with an exhibition in Milan. Scarlett Conlon speaks to the man himself about casting Posh and Becks in that underwear ad and why he’s fiercely anti-nostalgic

“As ever for me, the best ideas are the intuitive ones:” Giorgio Armani is musing on his era-defining casting of Posh and Becks in his advertising campaign for Emporio Armani underwear back in 2008. “In those years, David and Victoria were at the center of attention,” he recalls. “In the mirroring of their respective personalities, they embodied the moment: the metrosexual man, and the seductive woman with a fierce entrepreneurial outlook on things. And they both paid utmost attention to their physical appearance [so] having them in underwear looked like the right idea … and it took very little effort to persuade both.”

Armani – or Mr Armani as the fashion industry unofficially-officially refers to him – is a man who is no stranger to having the right idea. Aside from his multi-billion-pound Giorgio Armani empire, his Emporio Armani brand for which he managed to get the world’s most-talked-about couple down to their pants for is case in point. Established back in 1981 as a more liberal multi-platform to complement his eponymous mainline after seeing “a gap in the market and hunger from younger people for something new and fresh”, he proudly marked its 40th anniversary this year with an exhibition in his native Milan chronicling its trajectory.

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