When I started in the business of buying furniture, I would visit Milan every year and my fondest memory is of visiting the 8000 ft sq Armani megastore.
The building was so innovative at the time. A true retail experience, and a fully immersive brand expression. I suppose for Georgio it was his home town and he wanted to put his best foot forward, but to the industry it was truly innovative and still is today. Following that, many have followed in his footsteps of combining categories to form a deeper retail experience but few have done it to the same extent.
It can’t make money, but I’m sure he doesn’t care. Firstly he’s Italian, secondly he’s a fashion designer and thirdly it’s such a great place I’m sure the brand recognition pays for its existence many times over.
Those who have visited will know that you experience over 12 retail concepts under one roof. It’s genius. Armani Cafe, Armani’s collaboration with NOBU restaurant chain, a cellar, a chocolatier, Armani Jeans, Armani couture, Giorgio Armani, Armani fragrances, an Armani Sushi bar, an Armani / Sony electronics store, an Armani Flower store and of course my favourite the Armani home and furniture section – Dangerously over simplified and expensive, but beautiful nonetheless. Especially back then. The furniture collection has always been my first preference should I ever buy a 100 000 EURO Super yacht and wish to deck it out, but for a home you need to live a simple, extravagant life for his collection. Still, the finishes on the homewares and furniture demand respect.
I used to love wandering the store and learning about how he would express himself and his brand.