Giorgio Armani is one of the most authoritative names in Italian ready-to-wear design. Since 1964 the Italian men's clothing producer has worked with a variety of fashion houses and individuals to developed a simplified form of menswear that could be reproduced in series. Armani's success in the realm of menswear derives from introducing a new approach to clothing design that reflected the changes in post 1968 society that was composed of a middle class that could no longer afford to wear couture clothing but at the same time wanted to construct a distinctive image for itself. Armani established relationships with Gruppo Finanzario Tessile (GFT) which made it possible to produced luxury Ready-to-Wear (RTW) garments. Armani also made use of unconventional (at the time) advertising methods; television spots, enormous street ads, personal magazines to faithful consumers, and cinema (which featured his clothing in more than one hundred films).
In 1983 the designer modified his agreement with Gruppo Finanzario Tessile (GFT) to produce additional lines which include;
Mani - A high-end ready-to-wear line geared towards the United States, renamed Borgonuovo 21.
Armani Japan - RTW line which was also released with a new line of eyeglesss, socks, and a gift collection in 1985.
A/X Armani Ex-Change - A new "basic" men's and women's line for America's that included sportswear, eyeglasses, cosmetics, home, and new accessories collections.
Style and Innovation
There is a common tread that runs through Armani's stylistic development that is closely associated with shifting changes in society, these sort of changes led to the creation of A/X and accessories aimed at a clean simple style designed to enhance the personality of the person who wore it. The introduction of Armani introduced an alternative way of a approaching men's clothing that differed from the traditional English tailoring that houses such as Hardy Amies and Italian Made-to-Measure clothing expectations. Armani offered new identity and affordability with the invention of the blazer worn as a pullover and synthesis between formal wear and loose flexible sportswear which simply softened men's wear and women's wear to be more concise and modern. Official recognition of his fame came in 1982 when he appeared on the cover of Time magazine, only the second fashion designer, after Christian Dior, to do so.