Giorgio Armani celebrates the first forty years of the brand with an anthology manifesto exhibition
at Armani /Silos, where that aesthetic language created in the 1980’s is always current.
Traditional beauty analysed, questioned, inverted and subverted in an intentional act of estrangement that forces us to reconsider what we think we know.
These words become the mantra of the exhibition “The Way We Are”, curated personally by Giorgio Armani on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of Emporio Armani.
Verbal compasses as a guide to a cultural aesthetic methodology that began in 1981 with a very specific program: fashion for all with the Armani imprint.
“At the start of the 80’s I realized I could potentially address a very large audience, not like with my prêt-à-porter” Armani explains.
“I had the idea of offering an easy, accessible product to a younger market. At the time, denim was the central theme of the offer.
No designer had ever thought of making jeans. I was highly criticized for this choice, considered risky by some. The public and the time, on the other hand, have proved me right.”
Over the years it has evolved into a container brand, where everyone can find what they want and use it the way they want.
It’s a sort of metropolitan version of a young line, young here being understood as in the mental sense rather than the physical.
An underlying theme that has permeated Giorgio Armani’s thoughts and career right from the word go, just like the eagle logo with body split into horizontal stripes containing the designer’s initials. “It came about by chance. I still remember the moment I designed it, while I was on the phone responding to my partner Sergio Galeotti’s urgency to design a logo” explains Armani
“I did the sketch without thinking too much, but that symbol of unreachability took my name to the Olympus of the young market.
I never thought that a sketch, so hurriedly done, could become such a powerful symbol.”
His was, and still is a vision that comprehends and surpasses not only different times and eras, but the concepts, judgments and prejudices fashion design is so often plagued with as well. In the ongoing re-creation of perfect tailoring or technical sportswear, Emporio has no boundaries in time and space, but rather contains everything, for everyone, for all times, without schemes.
“Emporio has no schemes. Emporio is all this, in the name of the eagle. It’s here, now, immediate, today in every way” comments Armani “It’s me, you, all of you the same because you’re all different. Free. It’s concreteness and imagination. It’s EA”.
This kind of expression was a practice well ahead of its time, and developed into an experimental line, able to grasp new trends and propose fashion both attractive and seductive.
Indeed, this practise, this method, can only reverberate in an across-the-board, dynamic declination of style, where research and freedom are elements of a wardrobe made up of garments, bags, eyewear, shoes and jewellery.
Each of the above elements is a tile of a socio-artistic mosaic that, season after season, redesigns the figures of men and women in a representation of contemporaneity. And in the dialectic between form and function, Emporio Armani’s research seeks to reconcile meaning and practicality.
Just as in the new Fall Winter FW 2021-2022 collection aimed at subverting the grammar of fashion, the harmony of forms and casual elegance are declined in pop atmospheres, in an ongoing 80’s dialogue of mirrors and identical attitudes between man and woman.
A perfect synthesis that’s developed from the spirit of what has been. The central element is precisely that, the spirit, and this celebratory exhibition renders it tangible, practicable, offering it in every sense, mixing meaningful garments and accessories with the unique imagery and iconography created over the years.
The spaces of the Silos are invaded by gigantic blow-ups, because the monumental dimension has always been key to communication, the cells are lined with mood-boards, videos, clothes, and the visitors are part of it, crossing the space, exploring it, seeing it materialise through the objects, photos, videos and emotions in every room.
The Emporio Armani Magazine is directed by Rosanna Armani along with Christoph Radl as graphic designer, Kazunori Iwaka as editor at large, and Antonio Moscogiuri, editor and director of CAP 74024, as creative consultant.
A special edition is planned for Emporio Armani’s fortieth anniversary, with a photo of the planet Mars on the cover, and the words, like the title of the exhibition “The Way We Are”, announcing the content.
The central theme is living the moment, but to fully experience the moment, it’s essential to know what has been, where Giusi Ferrè’s story becomes the cornerstone of the project of the six photographers, Aldo Fallai,
Max Vadukul, Julia Hetta, Nico Bustos, Matthew Brookes and Brett Llyod, interpreting the Emporio F/W 2021-2022 collection. Six projects, in colour and in black and white, introduced by six short and effective stories by film critic Mariarosa Mancuso.
The 40th anniversary Emporio Armani Magazine will be in English with translations into Italian and Chinese. Distributed in the best international news outlets, it will also be on sale at Armani/Silos and Armani/Books,
as well as at Emporio Armani stores the world over and online at www.armani.com from September 21st.On the occasion of the magazine release, a book will also be published bringing together the photographs taken by Angelo Mereu: the black and white documentation of all the murals in via Broletto from 1984 to the present day. The book will be available exclusively from Armani/Silos and Armani/BooksLibri.