LABGallerie #12 / Flight of the Eagle 浪漫轉世 Emporio Armani
In celebration of the Emporio Armani eagle.
From a perch at the Bamboo Bar on the 7th floor of the Armani Hotel, there is a resplendent view of the sun setting over Milan. Beams of light swathe Via Manzoni below, catching the sleek shadows of suited men who make their way home from work. The Duomo’s spires glisten; waxy and proud. One cannot help but muse upon what it is that Mr. Armani himself feels, sees, looks for, each time he beholds this same view. Pure freedom, perhaps?
Indeed, his presence is felt everywhere in Milan; a god-like aura that permeates not only buildings and boutiques, but the confident strides of women swinging Armani handbags under their arm as they traverse the Gallerie Vittorio Emanuele. Needless to say, the full extent of this Armani mania has infatuated the entire world for decades, seemingly becoming more alluring and intriguing as one season melds into the next. Anyone who has ever worn an Armani suit, revelled in a spritz of Acqua di Gio, or buttered their pout with a slick of Lip Maestro can attest to the brand being the embodiment of Italian sophistication. One does not simply buy an Armani garment or product. They become immersed in a multi-sensory universe based the power of passion and freedom of expression.
Today, the house of Armani is the sum of all it’s parts. From haute couture to sportswear, jeans to beauty and fragrance, there is now an offering for every client seeking to experience the effortless elegance of the brand via it’s various manifestations. Launched in 1981, Emporio Armani is the second of the house’s brands that has earnt a loyal following based on the versatility of the ready to wear and runway collections that are still designed by Giorgio Armani himself.
While many designers at the helm of luxury empires are wary of the notion of ‘trends’, Emporio Armani captures the distinct ‘nowness’ of contemporary style via a spontaneous energy surpassing fashion ‘rules’ and traditional standards. It is a brand that has remained at the forefront of ready to wear fashion for both men and women for many decades; offering a sophisticated and highly functional range of garments ranging from formal dresses to statement knitwear for women, and tailored evening jackets to sweatshirts for men. The brand is also noted for it’s accessories; the finishing flourishes that complete any outfit, taking a look from day to night, from office to cocktail bar. Such pieces take the form of gleaming Swiss-made watches, suede sneakers, leathergoods and sunglasses. Evidently, the Emporio Armani universe offers a diverse clientele the opportunity to express their personal style via every detail of the outfit they curate.
This notion of personal and creative freedom is perhaps exemplified by the brand’s iconic Eagle logo. Designed by Mr. Armani himself, the Emporio Armani Eagle renders a formidable figure when observed on graphic sweatshirts, belts and bags in the street, but the intrigue of it’s symbology dwells deeper.
It is the embodiment of the brand’s ethos in keeping one’s focus on the horizon, free from the constraints of tradition. In an authoritative silhouette, the configuration of Giorgio Armani’s initials via the bird with wings out stretched illustrates the notion that the individual themselves is at the epicentre of the Emporio Armani universe, not merely the clothes they wear.
In the context of the brand’s sportswear line – EA7 – the Eagle seems a particularly pertinent symbol of striving for technical innovation and progression. With a focus on ski wear and après-ski outfits, the 2019/2020 EA7 offering includes modular snow jackets that convert into city wear, showcasing a range of innovative design elements such as thermo-taped zip closures, detachable gaiters and adjustable hems with drawstrings. In true Emporio Armani style, the garments are design statements in themselves; executed in pops of vibrant yellow, orange and green, along with striking prints that reference the bounding energy of the natural world.
From the ski slopes to the soccer field, the brand is also involved in several key partnerships including outfitting the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) for the next four years, following on from designing the uniforms worn by the Italian national Olympics team at London and Rio. Evidently, the power of the Armani empire continues to resonate with, and inspire individuals of all ages, races and walks of life via a seamless synergy between style, culture and society.
Moreover, with a range of popups and initiatives having rolled out globally in 2019 and continuing into the new year, there appears a strong emphasis on an ethically sound and environmentally sustainable future for Emporio Armani. Such initiatives include the Eagle Arcade Beach Tour, featuring pop-up shops selling beachwear made from 100% recycled fabrications, along with an ongoing commitment to abolishing the use of animal fur in its products, as exemplified in the Eco-Furs of the brand’s 2019/2020 collections. These faux fur coats, jackets and linings continue to uphold the Armani Group’s commitment to the Fur Free Alliance, which commenced back in 2016:
“I am pleased to announce that the Armani Group has made a firm commitment to totally abolishing the use of animal fur in it’s collections. Technological progress allows us to have valid alternatives at our disposal that render the use of cruel practices towards animals unnecessary.”
“In continuing to pursue the positively virtuous process we began to undertake long ago in this area, my company is now taking a major step ahead, thus reflecting our attention to the critical issues of protecting and caring for the environment and animals,” Giorgio Armani reflected.
In an age where rules, pressures and traditions can often dictate the way we live our lives, individual freedom of expression is perhaps the ultimate luxury. Emporio Armani – and the legacy of the house of Armani– reminds one that the art of choice is an empowering tool in the expression of creativity and curiosity. From Melbourne to Milan, Shanghai to Saudi Arabia, it’s not so much about what one wears, but how they wear it as a means of expressing of their personal mark on the world.