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Giorgio Armani is considered to be the most successful Italian designer in the world. The yearly revenue for his business starts with a ‘b’ (as in billion), and his personal net worth also begins there. Yet, he doesn’t stand as tall as some of his fellow designers, at only 5’8”. He’s another example of a man who may be vertically challenged, but doesn’t resort to shoes that make you look taller when appearing in public next to tall women, and taller men.
Armani is credited with being the man who turned Red Carpet fashion into a phenomenon. He’s also the man who began banning ultra-thin models from his fashion shows, after the death of model Ana Carolina Reston from complications of anorexia nervosa. Perhaps most importantly, Armani is the look that those who aren’t known for wearing cutting edge fashion, but need to look good on the Red Carpet go to for public appearances. Actress Jodie Foster wears Armani. Actor Cuba Gooding Jr., famous for his “show me the money” performance in the movie Jerry Maguire that won him an Oscar, was jokingly alleged to have said, “Show me Armani” when shopping for a tuxedo for the Academy Awards.
While his fashion lines span the spectrum from high end to more affordable, he’s also known for his one-off designs for movies, singers like Lady Gaga, and going wide with everything from makeup and perfume, to interior design and hotels/resorts. What really stands out with the Armani brand is how he prepares to exploit new markets, new ways of marketing (the first to stream his fashion show live on the Internet in January, 2007), and creating opportunities for extending the Armani brand across many different venues.