The famous Armani fashion house, which garnered actor Richard Gere in “American Gigolo” and many other celebrities on the red carpet, is facing a decline in fame and sales. Unlike other deluxe luxury brands, it has resources to come back.
A few days after the death of the designer Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani invited his guests to the private museum he has in Milan to present the winter collection. In the end, he replaced his bow and hand salute with a scroll alongside one of the models, to the astonishment and applause of the present. The 84-year-old creator and sole proprietor of the company, who bears his name, remains one of the last titans of the industry.
“It was a touching moment,” confesses in a written message the fashion designer, a cautious communicator who has never mastered English. His name is one of the most famous global brands. Aesthetics Armani – with well defined but sensual lines – has become synonymous with elegance and Italian luxury.
The decline in revenue in 2016 makes it clear that the time of the timeless Armani art has passed. The stage was gradually occupied by a more athletic and ultra-stylistic style that seduced young buyers at the expense of more conservative dresses. In addition, the decline of American shopping centers and the rise of online commerce, where it is much harder to sell $ 3,000 clothing items, also had a negative impact. “When you’re successful, it’s harder sometimes to figure out that you have to change something. The company remains faithful to its DNA, but has not moved quickly to the likes of a changing customer, “said Mario Ortelli, a consultant in the luxury industry.
In 2017, the last year when Armani reported the value of sales, they fell by 5.5% to $ 2.6 billion. Armani House has launched a restructuring plan to upgrade its seven brand lines. He gave up the mid-line lines, Armani Jeans and Armani Collezioni, to reduce customer confusion and focus more effectively on digital advertising investment, explains the same Ortelli.
And Ralph Lauren, the American correspondent of the Armani brand, has reached 50 years of existence, has seen a decline in business in recent years. However, he had a revival when he decided to focus on more classical styles and younger clients.
As the sole shareholder of the company with a market value of about 6.6 billion, according to Bloomberg, Armani can be difficult to manage as a man. “He wants to make sure everything that comes in contact with his name is consistent with his vision,” says Nicolas Hieronimus, deputy executive director and chief of L’Oréal’s luxury division in 2011.
In 1975, Armani founded his own company, along with his partner, Sergio Galeotti. The blow came in the 1980s when Armani stared at the West. She decided to dress American stars on both the red carpet and the movies. The blend of Hollywood glamor and Italian sensual aesthetics revolutionized the international fashion industry at the time.
When Galeotti died in 1985, Armani was forced to make a crucial decision – to bring new business partners or even sell and focus on design. Obviously, he still had the option of becoming a force in both business and design.
“I’ve decided to accept the challenge,” Armani says. “And since that day I have not looked back.” And for three decades, he has made his design a complete lifestyle, becoming one of the most important luxury brands in glasses, household goods, and furniture. From Milan to Dubai, Armani has also entered the HoReCa segment, launching its own restaurants and hotels – for example, Armani Hotel occupies ten floors in the largest tower in Dubai.