Bulgari is a dynasty of Italian jewelers that started with Sotirio Bulgari, a native of Epirus, Greece. He began his career as a jeweller in his home village Paramythia. He arrived in Italy in 1879 and brought the goldsmith tradition of ancient Greece. In 1885, he opened a shop in Rome, on via Sistina, offering pieces made with both ancient and modern goldsmith techniques. The business developed and, 20 years later, the firm found a new headquarters in via Condotti.
Starting in the mid 1900s, the production took on precise and original physical characteristics. This is the result of the creative commitment and entrepreneurial intuition of Sotirio’s two sons, Costantino and Giorgio, who had joined the company’s management in the early 1930s. Costantino, interested especially in collecting, started to gather artistic objects. Such as icons, carved jades, to deepen his study of the ancient goldsmith’s art. He wrote the book Argentieri, Gemmari e Orafi (Silversmiths, Jewelers and Goldsmiths), a fundamental work for knowledge of the Italian goldsmith tradition. Giorgio was put in charge of the commercial management of the company.
At the end of the 1940s BVLGARI introduced the Serpenti bracelet-watches. With coils in Tubogas or in gold mesh. This style is still popular today. In the meantime, the jeweler’s boutique became a favorite meeting place of the aristocracy, rich American tourists traveling to Rome, and the cinema’s international jet set. Introducing the cabochon cut and the use of colored stones set in yellow gold, Bulgari launched a new style of great inventive freedom. The emblem of tradition was instead carried by the ancient Greek and Roman coins that were offered as the central pendants in necklaces and link bracelets shaped like a gas pipe, or as decorative motifs in rings, brooches, earrings, and furnishings in silver. The impeccable manufacturing, refinement in composition, and unmistakable designs turned these jewels into real cult-objects.
Third to Fourth Generation
In the 1960s, the company was joined by Costantino’s daughters Anna and Marina. After Giorgio’s death in 1966, his son Gianni led the company as co-chief executive with his cousin Marina. These last two are the present heads of the company, together with their nephew Francesco Trapani, who is general director. In the 1970s, the company began to expand on the international market, opening subsidiaries in New York, Paris, Geneva, and Monte Carlo.
In 1985, Gianni resigned as CEO and in 1987, he left the family business after selling his one-third stake in the company to his brothers Nicola and Paolo. The brothers were named Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the company and nephew Francesco Trapani was named CEO. Trapani’s goal to diversify the company started in the early 1990s.
The 1980’s and 1990’s are marked by an era of opulence. Bulgari’s perfect adaptation to the contemporary world is reflected once more in its masterpieces. This years witnessed the birth the desired exemplary Parentesi; first line of modular jewellery, Bulgari-Bulgari; shapes inspired by the Roman Colosseum, and Quadrato watches. More examples of Bulgari’s adaptation to the world’s current opulence was the experimentation of new materials.
The year 1991 saw the début of the Naturalia Collection, which was inspired by the animal and vegetable world. For the occasion, the film Anima Mundi was produced, with the proceeds given to the World Wildlife Fund. The 1990s saw the creation of men’s and women’s accessories, small leather goods, foulards, ties, and eye glasses.
In 1996 Bulgari started an experiment with new materials, in the jewellery line called Chandra, in which porcelain was used together with gold. In 2001 the firm launched Lucea, a collection that was innovative in style and characterized by a fluid weaving together of gold and precious stones. The advertising for it featured the model Gisele Bündchen.
The year 2002 saw the birth of Bulgari Hotel & Resorts, a joint venture between Bulgari and Luxury Group, the luxury hotel division of Marriott International. They envisioned a series of luxury hotels, the first of which would be in the center of Milan, in via privata Fratelli Gabba, near Piazza Scala and the Brera. In Autumn 2003, the company launched the women’s fragrance Omnia, the eighth creation in the perfume line for men and women under the Bulgari brand.
Officially in 2004, Bulgari’s first hotel opened at Via Privata Fratelli Gabba in Milano, besides the prestigious La Scala theatre, in a tastefully renovated 18th-century Milanese palazzo. Later, in 2005 the brands hotels international expansion began establishing a new hotel in Bali, followed by the ones opened in London and Shanghai in 2012 and 2015 respectively. A further expansion is scheduled for 2017 in Dubai.
#Raise Your Hand
Bulgari proudly celebrates its philanthropic, global partnership with Save the Children by launching the new campaign #RAISE YOUR HAND. In 2009 BVLGARI has partnered with Save the Children. The company helps fund the nonprofit’s activities with proceeds from the Save the Children jewellery collection, custom-designed jewels, inspired by the iconic B.zero1 line. Bulgari has raised over $50 million in the past seven years for this charity project. And the purpose of #RAISE YOUR HAND 2016 is to emphasize the importance of children’s health.
LVMH Acquires Bulgari
During the first quarter of 2011, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton acquired the majority of Bulgari S.p.A. shareholdings. In 2014 In pursue of conserving the Bulgari’s heritage, a “unique palace” named DOMVS, in reference to the brand’s major source of inspiration and actual home, was opened to the public that serves as an exhibition and art gallery.
Situated on the second floor of the brand’s boutique at Via Condotti, DOMVS provides a unique storytelling of Bulgari’s stylistic evolution through iconic pieces such as the ones collected for the prestigious Heritage Collection. This temple also displays images and belongings of iconic divas that once embrace the brand such as Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, and Anna Edberg. In early 2015, Bulgari started a long-term collaboration with one of most celebrated design school Central Saint Martins for supporting young fashion designers through design competitions.
In 2016 Le Gemme Men, a new collection of male luxury fragrances was born, inspired by the tradition and excellence values of Haute Joaillerie. At the same year in July, Bulgari launched a new high jewelry collectionFesta, the spectacular collection has over a hundred jewelrys and watches inspired by Italian art de vivre. In particular, the Palio necklace and bracelet are more than exceptional, and stand for the famous horse race in Siena.
In 2017, Rome’s National Museum of 21st Century Arts and Bulgari join together and started a new project called MAXXI Bulgari Prize to support young contemporary artist. An international jury will spotlight and choose features young talents and present their work at National Museum of 21st Century Arts. Today, the name Bulgari expresses in just one word the concept of classic jewelry modeled according to the new dictates of contemporary taste.
From conquering the growing French artistic power in the 20’s, accommodating to resources droughts due to wars in the 40’s, to seducing new markets with creative and innovative designs and brand expansions, Bvlgari has earned the right to be called the top of the luxury jewelry industry.
Damiani, a leading company in Italian jewellery manufacturing and trade sector. The brand was established in 1924 with Enrico Grassi Damiani, he began designing and creating jewels with diamonds, and soon he became favorite jeweler to the noble families of Valenza Po, the center of the Italian goldsmith tradition.
Enrico Damiani was acclaimed in the italian jewelry industry as the highest expression of classicism, balance, and preciousness. And his son, Damiano, continued the family business, with his creativity and entrepreneurial spirit he designed jewels with a more contemporary style which remained unaltered over the time.
Damiani D. Icon Ring
Since the beginning each masterpiece created has conveyed the absolute reflection of a woman who believes in inner beauty, elegance, knowledge, and power. A lot of investment was made in research and development as a result of company’s clear-sighted and conscientious character. This power of taking decisions by considering the future is the potion of today’s clairvoyants and Damiani is one of them. The jewelry art evolved with a focus on white gold, as the princely metal of the Collections.
After a time, the firm became a corporation. In 1960 the company started to expand industrially and invested a huge amount of money to build their research and development department. Then, by 1976 the company won the first Diamond International Award with their “Bocca di Squalo – Shark Mount” bracelet. It has received several De Beers Diamonds International Awards, which are the Oscars for jewellery.
From 1980-90 the communication strategy of the brand was changed completely. Celebrity brand ambassadors became the primary source for their new communication strategy, and new collaborations with famous photographers were established for their campaigns. In 1990 the brand opened its first international branches in Switzerland, United States, and Japan during the 90’s. During this time the advertising spokesperson of the griffe was Isabella Rossellini.
The Third Generation
In the early 1990s the third generation entered Damiani. Silvia Grassi Damiani, born in 1966, is in charge of purchase of pearls and global communication. Giorgio Damiani, born in 1971, is responsible for export, development of all the collections and the purchase of precious stones. and Guido who was born in 1968, starting work as sales director, and now the chief executive officer.
In April 2002 the Damiani Manufacturing Company, led by Simone Rizzetto and his brother Christian, receives the ISO 9001 quality certification. This certification, recognized at national and international levels, recognizes the quality of precious metals, gems, and pearls selected by expert gemologists according to the place of origin, manufacture, and finishing of the jewellery.
In October with 130 linear feet of shop windows and two floors at the corner of via Montenapoleone and via Sant’Andrea in Milan, a new store is opened. This store follows the concept of other stores already opened abroad in Tokyo, Berlin, Dubai, and Honolulu. The project is by the architect Antonio Citterio. Soon there are four stores in Milan, with a total of 25 boutiques all over the world.
Also, after several failed negotiations, the Damiani Group acquires a significant minority stake in the Pomellato Group. The vice president and designer of Damiani, Silvia Damiani, declares her strong confidence in the decades-long experience of Giuseppe Rabolini, the president of Pomellato, whose turnover is about €55 million. For its part, the group closes the year 2001 with a turnover of €219 million and profits of €3.1 million. In 2002, investments remain steady at €36 million.
At this time, Damiani enters the watch industry. The men’s watch Ego Oversize, manufactured in Switzerland, is entirely designed by the griffe‘s style department. There are three versions with a total of seven models.
In February 2003 the brand opens two new stores, in Kiev and Moscow. Also, Damiani collaborates with the soap opera The Bold and The Beautiful. Some scenes are shot in Portofino. For the occasion, during a presentation, the actors and personalities show off Damiani watches and jewellery. June marks the opening in Paris of the international exhibit Diamonds and the Power of Love, organized by Diamond Trading Company. There are unique pieces from the most important international jewellers. Damiani presents the Chakra necklace, a two-section cascade of diamonds symbolizing the union between man and woman.
The firm opens a new boutique on Place VendÂme. In the boutique is an exhibit of unique pieces by Damiani that have received the De Beers Diamonds International Award, which is the prestigious Oscar for jewellery, and for which Damiani holds the world record, receiving it 18 times. The Damiani group is owned entirely by the family, now in its third generation. In December the firm celebrates 80 years of prestige in the world of jewellry with an exhibition. On display are 8 exclusive and unique pieces, including a necklace composed of 1,370 diamonds with 100 carats.
In 2005, after ending the previous year with revenue of €180 million, Guido Grassi Damiani, the general manager of the group, talks about the future with an eye on exports and aims at increasing the turnover, of which 80% presently comes from the Italian market. Later, in 2007, the group went public and was listed in the Milan stock exchange.
In November 2010 The Clean Water project, which was developed in collaboration with Sharon Stone, achieved its first important result. This project was created to build clean water wells to South Africa where an important diamond supply is located. The Maji Collection was designed for this project to collect money from its sales.
In 2011 the Company became the first jewelry brand to reveal its prices on the internet for complete transparency. In August Damiani implemented special project for the women who suffered from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, where a selection of must-have products and special collections were put on sale. The raised money was donated to Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning.
In 2012 Damiani won the Robb Report of the Best 2012 award with their Burlesque Bracelet. Next year, with their Vulcania necklace, the company was granted second time to the Best Annual Fine Jewelry Award. The necklace that took more than 530 hours to finish and became a piece of art with its diamond, placed in the traditional Damiani ‘apparent chaos’ setting.
For their campaigns, Damiani always collaborates with strong women like Sharon Stone, Chiara Mastroianni and Sophia Loren who portrayed the values of the brand. Only a piece created intricately by the hands of a passionate, dedicated and deep-rooted creator can portray the values of the Damiani women.
In April 2013, Sophia Lauren took part in a series of events in Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Seven new pieces were added to the existent Sophia Lauren collection and launched in the tour.
In June 2014 the company celebrated its 90th year anniversary with an exhibition. Damiani’s 18 awarded masterpiece jewelry pieces were exhibited along with the prizes and a special collection in Florence from 19th of June to 7th of September.
Next year in September, Damiani participated in the Italian Open Golf Tournament as a main sponsor. The reason behind this sponsorship is that the values of the company match with the ideology of the sport. Both believe in the power of hard work, focus and being prepared.
In February 2016 the brand launched a collaboration with Microsoft in which they produced a precious smartphone case for the new Microsoft Lumia 950. Also, the company was granted the Ethical Company Prize due to their various social projects.
Currently, the brand is a winner of 18 awards, has 61 direct and 17 franchised stores all over the world. And the Damiani Group ended the 2017 with consolidated revenues from sales equal to 161.5 million euros (+4.8% at current exchange rates compared with 2016)
Diesel was established in 1978 by Renzo Rosso together with other textile entrepreneurs in the Veneto. He chose this name because it is easy to understand and is pronounced the same around the world. At that time, Diesel was also considered as an alternative energy and so the word stood as a synonym to alternative taste in fashion. In 1985 Renzo Russo acquired full control of Diesel.
In 1991 Diesel launched its first advertising campaign called For Successful Living. The campaign did phenomenally and established a reputation for innovative marketing. Then, in 1995 the brand launched its own website, it was amongst the very first fashion companies to do so. Later, in 1996, the brand opened its first few flagship stores in New York, Rome and London.
In 2000 Diesel acquired Staff International, an Italian manufacturer and distributor of Maison Margiela, Marni Men, Dsquared2, Just Cavalli and Vivienne Westwood. Two years later Renzo Rosso became a majority shareholder of Maison Martin Margiela. In July 2000 Diesel Iberia, the 12th foreign subsidiary, expands further in the Spanish market. In Barcelona, it opens a new showroom with offices in Plaza de Cataloea. In Spain there are 350 single-brand boutiques and 12 more are expected within 2004. The turnover in Spain is equivalent to 17.6 billion liras. Later, Renzo Rosso, number one and president of the group, announces that Diesel’s global turnover for the year is expected to be 700 billion liras.
Creative Director: Kosta Murkudis
In September Kosta Murkudis, a young Greek designer, is appointed creative director of New York Industrie, the casual clothing line produced by Diesel International. In addition to creating the men’s and women’s collections, the designer will supervise the advertising campaign. He appears on the cover of W, the monthly of Women’s Wear Daily, an honor that fell to Tom Ford in July.
Diesel receives the Made in Italy award, a prestigious American prize within the fashion industry in January 2001. The company intends to expand further in the U.S. It was reported sales increased by one-third over the previous year. Also, by 2004, somewhere between 10 to 35 new shops are expected. At Pitti Bimboin June 2002, the company presents Diesel Kids, a celebration of denim. Every imaginable kind of denim is presented, with infinite variation, from stonewashed to torn and color-sprayed models.
Supporting Young Talent
In July 2002 the company is a sponsor and partner of the Trieste agency Eve, which has conceived and organized the first presentation of an award for young creative designers, called It’s One (International Talent Support), which is to be followed each year by It’s Two, It’s Three, etc. Wilbert Das, the creative director of Diesel, has worked with Victor Bellaish on the selection of 33 finalists from all over the world. The award, won by Einav Zucker, consists of €13,000 with which the winner can start his own atelier and create a new Collection for the following year’s competition. The Diesel Award, for €2,500, which went to Daniele Controversio, offers the opportunity to produce and distribute in the best Diesel shops a mini-Collection of 5 pieces labeled with the name of the young designer.
OTB Group Acquires Maison Margiela
In 2002 Renzo Russo founds the OTB group which became the parent company of fashion brands Diesel, Maison Margiela, and companies Staff International, specialized in ready-to-wear production and distribution. OTB group acquires the maison Martin Margiela. This Belgian designer, who went to school in Antwerp, already an assistant to Jean-Paul Gaultier, works for Hermés, but since 1988 has also had his own maison in Paris. But he needed a strong partner to help him develop further, and he found one in Italy, in the person of Renzo Rosso. The head of Diesel intends to promote a five-year development strategy for the brand.
In September 2002 DieselStyleLab, the men and women’s avant-guard line, chooses New York for the first time and returns to the runways of the Bryant Park Pavilion after several years away, for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The line was launched in 1998 but, after having presented in London (September 1998, October 1999) and Paris (October 1999), it undergoes a period of static presentations during Milan’s Fashion Week.
Forbes magazine lists Diesel among the 32 top luxury brands. The return to the formula of runway presentations and the choice of New York also indicate a strategic change and particular interest in the American market. The Collection is often inspired by the aesthetic-cultural contrast between East and West, as in the typical black leather jacket manufactured in a Japanese fabric with kimono-shaped sleeves.
Back in 2001, Diesel’s U.S. turnover hit $93 million, an increase of 43%. By October 2002 the company receives “high profits with double-digit growth in sales, an increase of 10% over the €365 million of 2001, which had already increased 38.8%.” This is the Diesel group forecast for 2002, as declared by Renzo Rosso at the Milan Fashion Global Summit. The group plans a thorough review of the points-of-sale, in which the single-brand shops, of which there are 180, including 95 company-owned, are to be favored over the multi-brands.
In June 2003 Daniele Controversio, winner of the Diesel Award 2002 in Trieste, joins the creative staff of DieselStyleLab. Also, the women’s shoe Collection by Diesel receives a prize at the Sportswear International Fashion Awards (SIFAS). Diesel shoes are manufactured under license by Global Brand Marketing Inc. of Santa Barbara, Calif., which sells its products in more than 130 countries. It owns the Pony and Dry-shod brands and is a licensee for Nautica, Mecca, and Xoxo shoes.
In September 2003 Australia is Diesel’s new target market. The first store opens in Sydney. Another one is to open soon in Melbourne. In December The turnover is reported €780 million, of which 85% comes from abroad. The gross operating margin of 22%, with a net profit of €74.8 million, almost hits 10%. The cash flow is €120 million. Renzo Rosso’s motto;
“Fashion companies must be directed by their managers. Real industrial managers must lead their companies and make every single area more professional. That’s what I did.” As to decentralization, he maintains that “some production cannot continue here: it is the price market’s rule. If you go too far away, you won’t survive. The important thing is that the brains stay in Italy.”
Diesel Marketing Strategy
The brand portrays itself as someone who questions current trends, while allowing their own taste to lead them. The message communicated is usually a mix of irony, black comedy and tongue-in-cheek humor that garners both praise and backlash. This combination of rebellious image with the classic 1950’s American culture has introduced some of the most timeless pieces, such as, biker style, leather jacket and the denim.
“We think to be cool is better than to be big”, said Rosso. It is really time for the brand to become cool and fresh again and so the current rebooting strategy of Diesel is not about change; it’s about going back to the origins. The interest of the brand lies in culture, music and people. Th??e challenge lies in breaking down people’s existing perceptions of Diesel, instead make them feel extraordinary.
The cohesive collection of Diesel sets itself apart from the rest by introducing an ‘alternative taste in fashion’. Their main power lies in the transformation of the year old working class look into luxury. They thrive on breaking the societal stereotypes through its gender“less” style statement that provides an individualistic voice to its audience.
Diesel’s reboot of the entire brand is about elevating the quality and revamping the product, both within and beyond denim. It’s about bringing fresh air and modernity to the collections. The biggest change is in ladies’ apparel, an innovative mix of leather with a feminine touch. The brand is challenging its own knowledge to bring a full-blown collection that is appropriate for the advanced contemporary market.
Through 2004 the company’s communications strategy continues. A new advertising campaign has also been promoted. “There are 30 acid, dreamy, daily trips, the so-called day dreams,” explains Antonella Rossi, the marketing director. “They are the dreams of each one of the 30 protagonists who present the pieces of our Collection; but then, in the video, these dreams shift towards rather uneasy, ironic, atmospheres.” Irony, innovation, unpredictability, creativity, desecration: these are the strong elements of Diesel’s communication.
Then, in October Renzo Rosso sells two thirds of his Only The Brave Srl shares, the family holding which controls the Diesel group, to his oldest sons, Andrea and Stefano. “They asked me to teach them how to manage a company: I’m happy because I have always feared that one day they may prefer to stay out of the family business.”
By December, Diesel, the owner of Margiela, intends to double the turnover of the Belgian maison in the next five years (the present turnover is about €30 million). Excellent competitive and economic-financial results for the group. The turnover is €1,004.2 million (€909 million from the Diesel brand), up 27.5% over the €788 million of 2003. The pre-tax results are excellent: €204 million, against €128.8 million in 2003, with a net profit of €112.2 million, an increase of 50% compared to the €74.8 million of 2003. The net borrowing has gone down, from €167.5 million to €48.8 million. At December 31st 2004, the group had 173 directly managed stores, of which 21 opened in 2004, while the workforce increased from 2,561 in 2003 to 3,348 in 2004.
In recent years, Diesel has reorganized its market strategy, positioning the brand in a premium segment, investing in research and quality, reorganizing the distribution structure, and reducing the world-wide points-of-sale from 10,000 to 5,000. Also excellent are the results for Dsquared, a brand acquired in 2001. The Martin Margiela brand has also grown consistently.
In 2005 the conquest of the Spanish market continues. After the opening of a first store in Barcelona in 2002, there are openings in Bilbao, Madrid, and Valencia, and a second one in Barcelona. Also, in May a new store opens in Hong Kong.??
In 2007 Diesel signed a partnership with L’Oréal’s luxury product division to launch the first line of fragrances, which is called ‘Fuel for Life’. More collaborations were done the following year with Fiat and Adidas.
Diesel Black and Gold
A new premium sophisticated clothing collection, Diesel Black Gold, was launched in early 2008 at the New York fashion week. In the same year Diesel launched its home and textile collection. And later the OTB group acquired Victor & Rolf. Greek designer Sophia Kokosalaki started to play primary role in the collection from FW 2010, her first debut as Diesel Black Gold female designer was in New York on February 2010.
In 2010, the companies most controversial campaign “Be Stupid” won a Grand Prix in the Outdoor Lions category at Cannes but was banned in the U.K. by the Advertising Standards Authority. Same year, a deal was signed with the Italian Ducati team of MotoGP. Diesel created its presence by creating race suits and clothing for the Ducati team.
“Be Stupid” Campaign 2010
OTB Group Acquires Marni
In 2013 Nicola Formichetti was appointed as the new Artistic director of Diesel, and later in 2014, he unveiled his first fall/winter collection in Venice. Meanwhile the OTB group, parent company of Diesel, bought 61% stake in Italian brand Marni, and in November 2015, OTB acquired the totality of Marni.
2016 marks brand’s 30 years of presence in Japan. To celebrate the brand held an exhibition with Diesel’s key denim look from 1978 to now, furthermore, brand launched three collaboration collections exclusively distributed in Japan.
In April of 2017, Diesel has revealed its charitable collaboration with supermodel Naomi Campbell in aid of her Fashion For Relief initiative, called Child At Heart. This project featured colourful love hearts and ladybird designs created by children attending the Diesel HQ kindergarten in Italy.
The company is currently in the mindset to reboot the brand with the mission to recapture the hip factor that made it great in the 1990s. Currently, OTB is the parent company of Diesel. Along with Maison Margiela, Marni, Paula Cademartori, Viktor & Rolf, and Brave Kid, specialized in childrenswear production and distribution. Also, Staff International, manufacturer and distributor of DSquared², Just Cavalli, Maison Margiela, Marni and Vivienne Westwood.?
In the world of Antonio Marras, art and fashion fuse to produce a raw interpretation of his imagination and creativity, influenced by his Sardinian roots. Born in Alghero, in 1961, his father Efisio Marras owned a number of textile shops, which Marras took over after his death and revolutionized into fashion boutiques.
In the world of Antonio Marras, art and fashion fuse to produce a raw interpretation of his imagination and creativity, influenced by his Sardinian roots. Born in Alghero, in 1961, his father Efisio Marras owned a number of textile shops, which Marras took over after his death and revolutionized into fashion boutiques.
His debut into the fashion world emerged after being invited by an Italian fashion house in Rome to design a prêt-à-porter collection in 1987. Marras showcased a collection under the “Piano Piano Dolce Carlotta” label. The collection was inspired by the 1964 American psychological thriller film, Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte, which reflected his passion for movies. His multifaceted skill set, being comprised of the cultural intelligence, artistic enthusiasm driving his self-expression, and the know-how inherited from his family’s textile business paved his journey into the world of fashion.
He presented his first haute couture collection in Rome in 1996, inspired by the Sardinian aesthetic, presenting the “ligazzio rubio” which translates into the “red thread” the latter became the persistent aesthetic element of his style. In 1999, Marras presented his first prêt-à-porter collection in Milan invoking elements of the Sardinian poetics.
In December 2001, Stardust published a book on Antonio Marras, written by Cristina Morozzi. The book was showcased in the Cappellini showroom in Milan with photographs by Berengo Gardin. Shortly before the presentation of the menswear collection at Pitti Uomo, a striking exhibition opened in Via dei Banchi Vecchi in Rome, at the A.A.M (Architecture and Modern Art) gallery.
Some of the simple, male inhabitants of Lodine, a small Sardinian village in the middle of the countryside, met with Antonio Marras and agreed to take part in his project. They became models for a day and Marras, together with the photographer Salvatore Ligios, revolutionized the traditional rules and stereotypes of virility with images of 20 Sardinian men. Circolo Marras was born, a project combining art and fashion, where the designer’s clothing is interpreted by everyday people, captured by Ligios’s photographs and text by Flavio Soriga.
The following year, a major milestone in the journey of Marras was the debut of his menswear line in a spectacular presentation at the 62nd Pitti Immagine Uomo, in the Torre del Gallo, a historical building located on the hills of Arcetri in Florence.
Antonio Marras Art Director of Kenzo
In 2003, Marras was appointed by the LVMH group as the Art Director of Kenzo, a journey the lasted until 2011. During that time, all collections were planned at his home in Sardinia with other Kenzo officials staying over at his place for few weeks. Marras moved to Paris to the headquarters of Kenzo to oversee the progress while maintaining his Sardinian roots as a source of inspiration without wavering from Kenzo’s code of aesthetics.
Antonio Marras’s Collections
Antonio Gramsci (like Che Guevara) became icon-as-decoration for Antonio Marras’s T-shirts and shirts. In black on white shirts or in fuchsia on baggy sweatshirts. At the start of the runway show, the designer read from one of the Letters from Prison. It ended with a shower of letters raining over the spectators like subversive flyers. The invitation included Gramsci’s phrase “I hate the indifferent”, taken from La città futura.
In March 2003 the Antonio Marras Fall-Winter 2003-2004 collection presented at Milan Fashion Week was inspired by Eleonora d’Arborea (1340-1402), the last Sardinian queen, famous for having created the “Carta de Logu,” a form of ante litteram constitutional map. The focus was on black, with a few red touches in the kilt worn over baggy pants with large boots. Gauze, silk, velvet, embroideries, soft jackets, and voluminous skirts, all decorated with different chains in metal and folk-style bijoux.
Later in May at Masedu, the museum of contemporary art in Sassari, Massari presented Il racconto della forma, a stylistic journey through clothing, with designs, photographs, videos and installations. The Spring/Summer 2004 collection for Milan Moda Uomo was dedicated to the sea. It was inspired by the film Fitzcarraldo and the book Sea and Sardinia by D.H. Lawrence. The set design for the runway show was the ocean liner, the Conte Biancamano, in the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan.
July 2005 marks the inauguration in Alghero of the exhibition Minyonies, curated by Giuliana Altea and Maria Luisa Frisia. The name of the show comes from the word in Alghero dialect that means ‘childhood.’ Thirteen artists of the most recent generation presented their work, focusing on the home setting and family emotions.
10 Year Anniversary Book
In 2006, Antonio Marras celebrated his ten years of career with a book “TEN YEARS AFTER” in collaboration with Russian American photographer Yelena Yemchuck. The book was made of different kind of papers and sewn by a thread called “ligazzo rubio”, a stripe of red fabric that has become a distinctive kind of his production.
In 2007, Marras signed an agreement with Interfashion, a Stefanel Group owned company, for the licensed production of his second line I’m Isola Marras, which was later appointed to the company Loma. In 2008, Marras designed the costumes for the famous opera musical “Orfeo ed Euridice”, that was presented during the inauguration of Teatro Grande of Alghero’s Congress Palace. In the following year, Marras established his first flagship store in the Middle East, in collaboration with the luxury retailers Al Ostoura International; this marked his first attempt of expansion in the Middle East.
Although he never completed a formal education in art or fashion, Marras received an honorary degree from the Brera Academy of Art in 2013. Furthermore, his involvement spanned beyond the worlds of fashion and art. In 2015 he started supporting NEVER GIVE UP, a non-profit organization for the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. In that same year, he signed a two year collaboration with Segno Italiano agency in Milan for consultancy services on space management for Salone del Mobile.
In 2015, the Antonio Marras global sales were estimated at about $11 million. Currently, the brand is presented in seven stores located in Moscow, Kuwait, Milan, Alghero, Seoul, and most recently a boutique-restaurant in Dubai. The Antonio Marras line is distributed at around 140 multi brand stores worldwide, while the I’m Isola Marras line is available at around 300 stores. Marras aims to further expand in the United States and China.
In a spectacular exhibition at the Triennale Design Museum in Milan, Marras presented “Nulla dies sine Linea. Life, diaries and notes of restless man” which celebrated his artwork over the last twenty years and his visual trajectory. The exhibition lasted from October 22, 2016 till January 21, 2017, marking the birthdays of Marras and his wife.
Giorgio Armani is an Italian designer, born in Piacenzwas in 1934. He is by far the dominant figure in the extraordinary flourishing of high fashion prêt-à-porter, which spread from Milan throughout the world.
Giorgio Armani is an Italian designer, born in Piacenzwas in 1934. He is by far the dominant figure in the extraordinary flourishing of high fashion prêt-à-porter, which spread from Milan throughout the world. An individual who, due to his physical charm, detached manner, and ability to merge work and environment in a vision that is simple, concise, rigorous, and clear, has seemed to express a perfect symbiosis between his own lifestyle and the elegance of his models. His economic empire is the reward not only of creativity and imagination, as it is for many other famous names in fashion. His success expresses a creative power that has been able to interpret desires, reconcile opposing needs and brilliantly reinvent a basic article of clothing.
Armani himself embodies the success of his famous jacket, which freed men from the old armor of the bourgeois suit, gave women self-confidence in a masculine look, and, as it was said during the 1970s, helped them more than did feminism itself. The designer began his spectacular career in prêt-à-porter at the age of 40, after a long, multifaceted and invaluable apprenticeship in which he learned much, both about taste and the relationship between fashion and business.
La Rinascente & Cerutti
After interrupting the study of medicine, in the 1960s he worked at La Rinascente, at the time a true crucible for the creative skills of architects, designers, market researchers, and advertising experts. His activity was wide-ranging and went from the buying of men’s clothing, and figuring out from the market, with sufficient lead time for manufacturing, how many people wanted a change of wardrobe, to window displays. Even today he can’t resist the impulse to spend an entire morning on the windows of one of his many boutiques.
In 1965 Nino Cerruti noticed his talent and hired him to redesign his Hitman line. By this time already precise and meticulous, Armani learned the importance of fabrics, both for their creative possibilities and for the economic value of even one inch of material saved in the cost of a garment. He began to design clothes in a way that would afford economies of scale manufacturing. He spent seven years at Cerruti, selecting fabrics that were lighter, colors that were colder, making everything less structured, changing buttons, and narrowing the shoulders. He did this to give the men’s jacket, up to that time a formal and stiff garment, a supple and real-life look, youthful for all ages. It was the 1970s, and the fashion world, on both sides of the Atlantic, adored the early Made in Italy lines, while new social classes were ready for the idea that one needs good clothes in order to emphasize personal success.
Sergio Galeotti, a young man from Viareggio who had just left an architecture studio to become a model buyer, realized that Armani couldn’t remain a designer who worked for others, but had to have a collection of his own. Cautious and somewhat distracted, Armani took two years to convince himself, in 1973, to open his own consulting business with Galeotti in Milan, while still working for various firms including Gibò and Montedoro to Tendresse, Courslande and Sicons. He quickly entered his name in the final fashion shows at Palazzo Pitti in Florence. Scarcely a year later, in 1974, his first men’s Collection came out, then in 1975, the first women’s Collection.
Giorgio Armani’s Company is Born
It was such a triumph that in 1976 the Giorgio Armani company was born. Galeotti conceived the company’s structure: no in-house manufacturing, only the production of ideas. The formula was reaffirmed in 1978 in the agreement with GFT, the first to make possible high fashion prêt-à-porter produced in a factory but under the close eye of the designer. Very soon, Armani’s shows became the most anticipated, both for the clothes and for the decor. The farsightedness of the new griffe was constant, guided by the notion that young people especially would be the consumers of fashion, as long as it remained affordable and did not lose its appeal. Very quickly in comparison with other lines, Emporio Armani became a reality.
The eagle became for young men a sign of belonging to a new style of dressing and of being; a loose-fitting, agile, less solemn look attractive to women. Armani’s fame grew quickly. In 1981, annoyed by polemics over a Collection inspired by ancient Japanese costumes, following some of Kurosawa’s films, he decided to stay away from the fashion shows for a season, and Time Magazine, finding the protest explosive, put his picture on the cover. In 1982 the turnover tripled. Meanwhile, his consulting services were requested by Mario Valentino, for his collection of leather goods, by Erreuno, and by licensees wanting to use his trademark, such as Bagutta for men’s shirts, Hilton for cloaks, and Allegri for raincoats. His unmistakable and ever-varied touch lights up a decade of work, while his fundamental research in high fashion prêt-à-porter leads to results of such refinement that they can no longer be produced in a factory.
Partner Galeotti Passes Away
In 1983 Armani changed his agreement with GFT, which from that point on would produce a new line, Mani, intended essentially for the U.S, while high fashion prêt-à-porter would use the label Borgonuovo 21, the street in Milan where he restored and rented the palazzo that once belonged to Franco Marinotti (Snia Viscosa) and the cotton manufacturers Riva. Shows are mounted in a 513-seat theater that once was the ballroom and swimming pool. Galeotti was barely able to manage the showing of the Spring-Summer Collection for 1985 and would die in August of that very same year.
The second decade of activity finds Armani alone but poised, thanks to study and a strong will, to add to his great achievements a real revolution in women’s clothing. The world was changing and women no longer needed to camouflage themselves, or to hide their bodies in the looseness of a perfect jacket.
Analyzing the stylistic development over what is by now 25 years of activity, certain constants emerge and some variations from his characteristic rigor can be seen. The taste and logic of his first revolution are never diminished, either in the men’s or the women’s collections, with their mutual exchanges of particular elements not only in terms of shape and cut, but also in the selection of interchangeable colors, in their materials, in a masculine appearance, a loose and soft hand or, viceversa, in shirts and jackets with a female touch for a man of a disconcerting freedom.
Loved by the elite and by mass consumers, adored by the critics, Armani was three times awarded the Occhio d’Oro in Italy for the Season’s Best Collection, and has received many honors throughout the world. He dressed Catherine Deneuve in Speriamo che sia femmina, Richard Gere in American Gigolo and provided costumes for the Strauss opera Elektra at La Scala, directed by Luca Ronconi with stage-designs by Gae Aulenti.
The George Sand of Spring 1976, in the winter of that year wore tweed jackets with a bold pattern, very masculine, but accompanied by a plissé skirt which, like trousers, allowed a loose and long stride. In Spring 1977 there were two skirts, overlapping, while the men’s jacket took on sophisticated accents, and the idea of “doubling” passed to men’s clothing as well, when a knitted jacket was put over a blazer. The jacket was destined to join every other element of clothing.
Then, in 1978 it went with a bathing suit, and in the fall Armani combined it with military colors. There was continuous research into everything to do with the shoulders, and the result was a “Garbo” long-wearing even in crêpe de chine. But the evolution of the jacket in 1983 was based on three items: the blazer in black velvet, the long-sleeve jacket with round shoulders, and the caban of Andean origin. There were few trousers and, instead, many varieties of culottes in very new tromp–l’oeil designs. The jacket was transformed, becoming an interchangeable item or a piece to be combined freely.
In 1984 there was a return to the taste for a men’s wardrobe with a hint of the feminine, an androgynous collection like no other. But the following year, for the Autumn-Winter Collection, Armani showed his sweet side, presenting a masculine jacket, but loose and down buttoned, for an easy-going woman with hair up and a neckless blouse. It was a show with 350 different fabrics varying in shades of blue, grey, and brown.
In October 1985 the Spring-Summer Collection won extraordinary success with its ethereal, stylized woman, her legs covered by very clear stockings and completely in view, wearing high heels. It was a femininity somewhat difficult and yet in some ways too much on display. It was a change in Armani’s usually sober look. The jacket is always the clue to understanding a style, but new suggestions came from the princess dresses in printed silk.
The novelty of the Autumn-Winter 1986 Collection was the evening dress. Armani’s woman, a mix of seduction and common sense, could count on an Armani universe: from perfume to timeless high fashion prêt-à-porter, similar to himself with minimal change, from writing paper to lamps, in a line that was more free and well-developed in the various aspects of its diffusion, the Emporio line.
In 1986 evening wear out-did day clothes, according to the demands of the American market. The Armani woman, self-confident and without nostalgia, chose a jacket that was no longer rigid and severe, breaking the rules of jacket-and-blouse in favor of daring new combinations (1987). From then on in 1988, the Autumn-Winter Collection was characterized by an atmosphere that was soft and light in color, and by the subtle provocation of a jacket resting on the waist and the hips, with long, double skirts.
In 1990 once again the jacket was the focal point, slim, wrapped, with small shoulders and a marked waist. The skirts were short or to the calf, the trousers sometimes straight and severe or else full like a man’s. It was a choice of dusty, sharp colours, though tempered by the greys and sandy earth tones typical of the Armani palette. In addition, there were the great envelopping overcoats such as the Tunisian djellaba.
In 1992 smoking was the season’s trademark, variously interpreted in combination with extremely feminine fabrics and details. New flexibilities, new concessions, very new luxury. Elegant fabrics used in casual clothes was a special characteristic of 1994, enhanced by a color palette in ruby inspired by Matisse. Waistcoats peep out under jackets; trousers are as long as they can be, and long skirts trimmed with fringes take center stage. Evening dresses display an imperious elegance in their colors and precious fabrics, yet with shapes reduced to the essentials.
The Autumn-Winter 1996 Collections showed great refinement and a love for structure which revealed itself in the ankle-length overcoats with velvet facings and matelassé lining. The repeated and refined use of fabrics cut on-the-bias, caressing the body, is more popular than ever. Also the favorites of the evening, from the “boldinian” style dress in silk velvet tied at the neck by a necklace of roses, to the sheath dress in black stretch tulle with tatoo embroidery.
The year 1997 saw the arrival of “sophisticated grege,” a new shade between grey and beige. Lean shapes, small proportions, a symbolic simplicity. Refined fabrics such as plissé wools, matelassé, and double crêpe. For the evening, everything is precious: graphic embroidery in ivory, ebony, lace, and velvet. The style is by now more and more defined and authoritative. It doesn’t change. What do change are the methods, the movements, and the details, with greatest importance given to refinement in materials and the finishing touches of master tailoring, which combined to make sophistication the main idea of the season.
During 1998-1999 evening is more and more the singular moment, with embroidered dresses inspired by oriental porcelains. The jackets, slim, without lapels, and with fastenings that are hidden and often on the side, have lost the connection with tailored suits and are worn even with long dresses, low-waist trousers, and long, straight skirts in order to accentuate the silhouette. And there are plenty of dustcoats, a series of overcoats cut like jackets, which are long and slinky.
In September of 1999 Giorgio Armani SpA opened the accessories division, with the goal of improving their results in leather goods. Dawn Mello & Associates entrusted with the account for the new division. The commercial structure of the Group (direct and franchising), operating in 33 countries, includes 53 Giorgio Armani Boutiques, 6 Collezioni stores, 129 Emporio Armani, 48 A/X Armani Exchange, and 4 Armani Jeans.
2000 – 2005
For 2000 the image is strong, consistent, glamorous, pure, and precise. The collection is love at first sight with English pastel shades and a special regard for black. Ankle-length skirts, short jackets with wide kimono sleeves, jackets cut like Indian blouses, slim trousers under tunics and extra-large trousers with a man’s shirt. A refined evening with the new idea of “light catchers” made of stretch tulle worked in the shape of a web, with a deliberately consistent choice of clear and sharp lines on the body.
The Armaniwoman entered the third millennium with an allure that was modern and sparkling, with one eye on the use and management of style, and the other on the passions of the young. The Armani woman is always aware that the power of her own image lay in the unbeatable Armani style, with his special colors, a skillful line and expert cut. This is a woman gliding with lightness, grace and incomparable class, leaving behind her the inevitable strains of a modernism that is often coarse or simply too ugly. The latest Collection, already looking toward the new millennium, G.A. Man in Spring-Summer 2000, has reconfirmed the primary place Giorgio Armani in the men’s wear industry.
Femininity and romanticism: from these two words Armani’s new woman was born. The look came out for Winter 2001-2002 and evoked the emotion of a debutante’s ball with skirts of frilly tulle and handkerchiefs of organza cut on the bias worn with long pullovers inspired by the sea or with small tops. Graceful girls paraded past, as if dancing on pointe: “Ballet is the apotheosis of elegance”, said the designer. Everything was delicate and ethereal, seeming to hint at dreamy sensations. The show’s finale was memorable, with 30 real ballet dancers posing like those of Degas. It confirmed what had been seen in the previous season, with tailored pantsuits characterized by an unusual sweetness, a vague re-collection of the manager-woman. The soft mood was also more in evidence in the shows that followed. And the classic blazer? It adapted to the new trend and in Summer 2003 became longer, almost a tailcoat waving on a slender body. Unusual pieces broke the familiar rhythm of the ensembles, sensuality was all on edge without any exotic nostalgia or erotic aggression.
In Autumn-Winter 2003-2004 Armani again changed course. His designs gave the body a new outline, emphasizing it and caressing a waist made prominent by short and close-fitting jackets. Then, in a surprise, he pays tribute to women’s legs with triangular miniskirts and shorts, a gentle reinterpretation of the hot pants of the 1970s. It was a very stylish woman, almost dipped in ink, in the severity of black broken up by lines of white, for an evocative graphic effect. As usual, his clothes needed to be admired up close, for the sophisticated details and refined fabrics. It was like a heaven of embroidery. He lowered the age of the fashion-conscious, which the Emporio line accentuated through the impertinent and teasing style of the French tomboy, with everything made “short.” His men’s style was also updated, an image somewhere between reason and sentiment, the silent revolutionary of a new classicism that still observed the rules of comfort, particularly in his knitwear creations.
In January 2000 Giorgio Armani SpA raises its stake in Giorgio Armani Japan Co. Ltd., a joint venture founded in 1995, to 85% of the shares, leaving the remaining 15% to Itochu. Then, in February the birth of Armani Collezioni which brings together, in Europe and in Asia, the already-existing Giorgio Armani, Collezioni Uomo and Mani Donna. The new label is also introduced in the U.S., while the Mani Uomo line of suits and shirts remains solely in the American market. Later, in June the Armani Group purchases for 55 billion liras from GFT the manufacturing business of the men’s line Armani Collezioni as well as its distribution and sales in the U.S.
In July Armani Group and Zegna Group agree to create a joint venture (51% to Armani, 49% to Zegna) to manufacture and distribute the Armani Collezioni lines. The goal is to exploit to the maximum the potential of the Armani Collezioni Uomo brand throughout the world, and the Mani Uomo brand in the U.S., using the manufacturing and organizational skills of both groups.
New Store Openings
The opening of new stores continues. In October an Armani shop opens at via Manzoni 31, in Milan. Designed by Studio Gabellini Associates, in collaboration with Armani himself, the megastore has some 80,000 square feet on three floors. The 1,000 square foot basement is used to sell electronics, especially by Sony. On the ground floor are Emporio Donna, Emporio Uomo, Emporio Accessori, a space dedicated to perfumes, and Armani Jeans for men and women. On the second floor, in addition to the restaurant Nobu and to Armani Caffé there is Armani Casa. The year 2000 shows consolidated revenues of 2,002 billion liras, a 20% increase compared to 1999, a gross margin of 374 billion liras, a net consolidated profit of 235 billion liras, an 11% increase, and a net worth amounting to 618 billion liras.
In February 2001 the first Giorgio ArmaniAccessori boutique opens at via della Spiga 19, Milan. The boutique includes high-quality bags, shoes and leather goods. Later in May, Giorgio Armani SpA, already owner of 53.2% of the capital stock of Simint Spa, an Italian company listed on the Electronic Stock Exchange, announces a tender offer for the Simint common stock that it does not already own. The price offered per share is €6.2. The goal is to activate a process of internationalizing the production and marketing activities of Armani products within the companies of the Group. As of July, the result of the bid for Simint, is that 39.49% of Simint’s shares are added to the 53.24% already owned by the Armani Group, thus giving Armani control of 92.73% of the company.
Giorgio Armani in Japanese Market
In 2001, Giorgio Armani Japan, founded in 1987 as a joint venture with Itochu Corporation, reorganized its retail activities in Japan. The program entailed the reopening, after a thorough renovation, of the world’s largest Armani store, in a manner consistent with the image of the new Armani boutiques on via Sant’Andrea in Milan, on Place VendÂme in Paris, and in Kioi-cho, Tokyo. Then new Emporio Armani stores were opened in Marunouchi and Aoyama, and the Emporio Armani in Midosuji was renovated. The Japanese market ranked third in order of importance after the U.S. (34%) and Italy (15%). Giorgio Armani Japan distributes five lines belonging to the Armani Group: Giorgio Armani, Giorgio Armani Accessori, Armani Collezioni, Emporio Armani and Armani Jeans. The company manages 22 shops; 10 Giorgio Armani boutiques, 1 Armani Collezioni shop and 11 Emporio Armani. The Giorgio Armani and Armani Collezioni lines are also sold through the shop-within-a-shop formula.
In July of 2001 Roberto Pesaro was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Giorgio Armani Corporation. One month later, Armani opened its first boutique in Rusia, in Moscow at no. 1 Tretyakovsky Lane. It was the 33rd point-of-sale opened by Armani in the year 2001, resuming the strategy of expanding the exclusive retail network. Twenty shops were completely renovated. A new joint venture, Borgo 21, was created to develop the top line of the Armani brand.
The year ended with Consolidated revenues reached €1,272 million, an increase of 23% which included all the geographic areas and all the lines. The turnover was distributed as follows: Europe 45%, North America 28%, Asia-Pacific and rest of the world 27%. The net consolidated profit was €110 million, the net worth €122 million, with investments of €307 million.
In January 2002 Armani acquires 100% of Miss Deanna, a firm specialized the production of high quality knitwear. Then, in November the Armani-Chater House megastore in Hong Kong opened, with 30,000 square feet on three floors, second in size only to the one on via Manzoni in Milan. Meanwhile, Armani Group and Luxottica Group ended their licensing agreement for the production and distribution of glasses in the Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani lines.
The yearly results showed growth in the main indicators. The consolidated turnover, €1,301 million, showed a 2.3% increase compared to 2001. The induced turnover, €1,691 million, grew 6.4%. There was considerable growth in Emporio Armani Watches, 24%, and in cosmetics, 11%. Profits before tax, €199 million, grew 9.7%. Also noteworthy were investments of €87 million, devoted, among other things, to the expansion of the distribution network (30 new stores and 16 renovations) and to the acquisition of manufacturing plants. Finally, the Group invested 10% of the induced turnover communications.
Licensing and Co-branding
In February 2003 the Group gave Sàfilo a long-term license for the production and worldwide distribution of the Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani watch Collections. At the same time, the Group’s exclusive distribution network comprised 57 Giorgio Armani boutiques, 12 Armani Collezioni shops, 115 Emporio Armani shops, 66 A/X Armani Exchange shops, 10 Armani Jeans shops, 5 Armani Junior shops, and 12 Armani Casa shops, in 35 countries around the world.
Then, in June the Giorgio Armani boutique on via Condotti in Rome reopened after a total renovation. Armani himself worked on the restyling along with the architect Claudio Silvestrin. Also, Mercedes-Benz and Giorgio Armani entered into a joint venture for the creation of the Mercedes-Benz CLK Giorgio Armani Design Car. Armani said,
“Mercedes-Benz has achieved extraordinary fame for the quality, style and elegance of its cars. For me, it’s been very interesting to observe how similar our design philosophies and system of working are. This makes me think that in the future there will be more opportunities to carry out common projects which can develop our respective strengths.”
In October, John Hooks was appointed the new President of Giorgio Armani Japan and Giorgio Armani continued as commercial director of the group. Then, the third and largest of Armani’s multi-concept stores, the Armani/Funf-Hofe, was opened on Theatinerstrasse in Munich, joining in the Armani on via Manzoni in Milan and the Armani/Chater House in Hong Kong. The economic-financial results for 2003 were brilliant. The consolidated turnover €1,255 million grew 3% at constant exchange rates. The net profit of €134 million increased 14%. Also excellent was the increase in net worth which grew 149%, In 2002, it grew to €264 million. In the same year the company invested €38 million, mainly in distribution, with 30 new sales points opened and 11 restyled.
Armani Hospitality and Distribution Network Expansions
In February 2004, the Armani group diversified into luxury hotels. It signed with EMAAR Properties PJSC, the largest real estate company in the Middle East, a memo of understanding for the creation of Armani resorts and luxury hotels. The collaboration called for the opening of ten hotels and four resorts within seven years. The total investment was projected at about 1 billion dollars. EMAAR was to manage the construction and managerial aspects and Armani would be responsible for style and design. In March, the company signed a multi-year license agreement with Wolford AG for the production and worldwide distribution of the Giorgio Armani hosiery line. Later in April. The fourth multi-concept store was opened in the Three on the Bund, Shanghai. Followed by an Armani store opened in Dubai.
Later, in July Fortune Magazine published a list of the 25 most powerful men in European business. Giorgio Armani was the only Italian, ranked number 25. Then, in August New Emporio Armani stores opened in Riga and Shanghai, one month later a shop with the new Emporio Armani concept opened in Paris.
“The new design of the Emporio Armani in St. Germain belongs to a strategy aimed at strengthening and differentiating the various product lines and at creating an environment in which the store’s architecture lends support to the presentation of the Collections in a way that is modern and accessible to the clients.” Giorgio Armani.
In September an Armani Jeans shop opened in Corso di Porta Ticinese in Milan. It was designed by the architects Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas. An Armani Jeans Café was opened inside. Also, at the Armani boutique on Maidson Avenue, the model Eugenia Silva organized a charity sale for the benefit of the American Museum of Natural History. Meanwhile, Armani was given the Superstar Award at the Night of Stars Awards of Fashion Group International.
The year of 2004 closed with a turnover of €1,299 billion, an increase of 6.5% at constant exchange rates and 3.5% at current exchange rates. The net profit was €126 million, a slight decline -5.2% compared the previous year. The net worth was €397 million, an excellent increase of 50.3% over the €264 million of 2003. Investments were €50 million, of which €35 million was used for the opening of 16 new stores and the restyling of the existing ones.
The First Haute Couture Collection
In January 2005, the designer made his début in haute couture, presenting in Paris the first Giorgio Armani Privé Collection. Thirty-one clothes in pure Armani style, very precious and unique. This year also witnessed the company’s 30th anniversary, to celebratied anniversary and in honour of his historic friendship with actress Michelle Pfeiffer, Giorgio Armani commissions famous photographer Mario Testino to create a series of shots of the actress for the women’s spring/summer 2005 collection catalogue, which are signed by the designer.
In June 2005 Armani designed the uniforms of the crew of the Bribon, the new sailing ship of the King of Spain. The first quarter registered growth in direct sales in company-owned stores of 16% compared to the first quarter of 2004. In particular, sales in China increased 52%, in Japan 15%, in Europe 10%, and in the U.S. 3%. At the same month, a new single-brand Armani Casa store opened at via Manzoni, 37 in Milan.
Armani was appointed Designer of the Year by the Fashion Editors Club of Japan. Later, the Giorgio Armani retrospective exhibition moved from the Guggenheim to the Mori Art Museum of Tokyo. For the occasion, the men’s and women’s Collections of Autumn-Winter 2005-2006 were presented. The show was followed by the first presentation of Armani’s haute couture Collection. So far, the group had 4,700 workers, 13 production plants, 58 Giorgio Armani boutiques, 11 Armani Collezioni stores, 121 Emporio Armani stores, 70 A/X Armani Exchange stores, 12 AJ/Armani Jeans stores, 6 Armani Junior stores, 1 Giorgio Armani Accessories store, and 17 Armani Casa stores, distributed in 37 countries throughout the world. The group’s brand are: Giorgio Armani, Armani Collezioni, Emporio Armani, AJ/Armani Jeans, A/X Armani Exchange, Armani Junior and Armani Casa.
Armani Designs for English National Soccer Team
In May 2004 Armani dressed the English national soccer team for its tour of exhibition matches in the U.S. June. Armani designed the uniforms of the crew of the Bribon, the new sailing ship of the King of Spain.
Today Armani has five lines: Borgonuovo 21, G.A., Collezioni Mani, AX (basic fashions sold in the shop of the same name in the U.S.) and Armani Jeans, plus the linen, underwear and swimwear lines.
2005 until Now
Supporting Charity Events
During the World Economic Forum held in Davos in January, Armani announces its participation in (PRODUCT) RED, the revolutionary global initiative launched by Bono and Bobby Shriver to raise funds for the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. In support of RED, Armani designs its first two products for (Emporio Armani) RED, consisting of a pair of sunglasses and a watch. Moreover, the Emporio Armani women’s collection for spring/summer 2007 is presented at London fashion week instead of in Milan, during an exclusive fashion and music event that also celebrates the launch of the first Emporio Armani (PRODUCT) RED capsule collection. Alicia Keys, Andrea Bocelli, Beyoncé, Bono, 50 Cent and Leonardo DiCaprio are just some of the celebrities who take part in this presentation, which is called One Night Only. At the end of the year, Giorgio Armani receives the Leonardo 2006 Award from President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano, as an important representative of quality Italian products abroad.
Launch of Cosmetics Line
In 2007, Giorgio Armani launched Crema Nera, the first product of the skincare line, along with Attitude, the new fragrance for men and Diamonds. Emporio Armani’s new feminine scent, the advertising campaign for which features Beyoncé. The Giorgio Armani retrospective exhibition arrives in Milan at the Triennale Museum. Meanwhile, The Giorgio Armani Privé Spring/Summer 2007 runway moved to Los Angeles to coincide with the 79th Academy Awards. Giorgio Armani opens its fourth concept store worldwide in Ginza, Tokyo, called Armani/Ginza Tower.
New Stores in Asian Market
Next year, Giorgio Armani entered the Indian market with the first Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani stores in New Delhi. Also, the first Emporio Armani stores are opened in Moscow and Beijing. On the other hand, in the Europe market, the largest Giorgio Armani boutique in the world opens in Milan on Via Montenapoleone, as well as the lauch of Emporio Armani e-commerce site in Europe, and the Emporio Armani Samsung Night Effect mobile phone. Emporio Armani Underwear for women is launched in the United States. Giorgio Armani becomes an honorary member of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum in New York during the opening of the exhibition Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy.
Collaborations and Licenses
2012, At the Cannes Film Festival, Giorgio Armani launches a one-year collaboration with J/P HRO (Haitian Relief Organization), which includes an exclusive media campaign in which the designer and Sean Penn pose together for the first time. During women’s Fashion Week, the designer opens Eccentrico at the Armani/Teatro in Milan, an exhibition of clothing and accessories from 1985 to 2012, which embodies a point of fusion between art, fashion and design. The Armani Group signs an exclusive license agreement with Luxottica for the design, production and worldwide distribution of the collections of sunglasses and prescription eyewear under the Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and A|X Armani Exchange brands. In collaboration with the Astas Holding/Bemes group, the completion of the project Maçka Residences is announced, which includes the development of an exclusive residential area in the centre of Istanbul.
One Night Only Series of Events
The same year also sees the celebration of the Armani Group’s 10-year anniversary in China, which is marked with an event: One Night Only Beijing. In 2013, Giorgio Armani continues the successful One Night Only series of events, first in Rome and then in New York, where on October 24, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaims it Giorgio Armani Day. The following year, Giorgio Armani presents One Night Only Paris.
Armani Designs for Team Italy
In 2013 Giorgio Armani also announces the continuation of the brand’s agreement with the Olympic Committee, confirming that Armani will be the Official Outfitter of Team Italy for the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014 and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. And in May of 2014, Giorgio Armani continues his long-standing relationship with the world of international football announcing the collaboration with Bayern Munich to create the club’s official clothing.
Celebration of 40th Anniversary
2015 marks Giorgio Armani Group’s 40th anniversary, earlier in this year, Giorgio Armani launches New Normal, a continuing and concise collection that creates the ideal wardrobe for today’s woman, and that summarises 40 years of style that have defied the testo of time. Giorgio Armani has been nominated Special Ambassador for Expo Milano.
Later on 30th of April Armani continuing to celebrate with a big party involving 500 guests including VIPs, celebrities, authorities and the international press. The same day Armani/Silos, the large exhibition space dedicated to Giorgio Armani’s professional experience, opened its doors for the first time.
Exhibition at Armani Silos Milano
For this occasion, the Ministry of the Economic Development and Poste Italiane celebrate Giorgio Armani’s 40th anniversary and the opening of the Armani/Silos with the issuance of a dedicated stamp. October 1st marked the launch of Giorgio Armani’s book (published by Rizzoli New York) in which he recounts forty years of career, style, excitement and vision in the first person. The volume was presented to the public on September 28th, at the end of the Giorgio Armani show, by the famous English journalist Suzy Menkes.
In 2016 Giorgio Armani was awarded the “Collare d’oro al merito sportivo” (“Golden Collar for Sports Merit”) as a figure who has stood out for his contribution to the world of sports. On April 14th, Giorgio Armani traveled to Moscow for a series of events celebrating the presence of the Armani Group in Russia. After London 2012 and the Sochi Winter Olympics, the collaboration between Giorgio Armani and the Italian National Olympic Committee continued: EA7 Emporio Armani was, once again, the official outfitter of the Italian Olympic and Paralympic team at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. In July, Giorgio Armani announced the creation of the Giorgio Armani Foundation to implement projects of public and social interest and to ensure that the Group’s governance assets are kept stable over time, in respect of and consistent with the principles at the basis of his activities as a designer and an entrepreneur.
In September, at Armani/Silos, “Emotions of the Athletic Body” was inaugurated, the photographic exhibition dedicated to celebrating sports and athletes, curated personally by the designer, drawing from the vast archives of photographs that he himself had commissioned over the years. In September in Paris, Giorgio Armani presents the Emporio Armani Womenswear SS17 collection for the first time during Paris Fashion Week. The two-year partnership between EA7 Emporio Armani and RCS Sport was announced for the Milano Marathon: the sportswear line will be the title & technical sponsor of the 17th annual marathon, which will take place in Milan. The exclusive club, Armani/Privé, was reopened with a completely renovated look.
In 2017 The Giorgio Armani Group announces the reorganization of its portfolio of brands. As from the Spring/Summer 2018 season, the brands will be Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and A|X Armani Exchange. Also, Emporio Armani is presented for the first time during London Fashion week for the Spring/Summer 2018 read-to-wear collection and reopened their newly renovated Bond Street store.
In 1954 Ada Masotti, a corset maker from Bologna, set up a lingerie production company and named it La Perla. Not having elastic fibers available, she focused on tailoring handmade pieces. During this time, female silhouettes were accentuated in fashion and her creations matched latest fashion trends. Ada Masotti’s motto was “never compromise on quality and innovation.”
The brand DNA is based on Leavers lacework (named after an English loom, of which only 1,200 examples remain in the world), Cornellyembroidery, macramé (embroidery on a fabric which is later destroyed), soutache (an ornamental braid applied by hand usually in fancy pattern); the frastaglio (traditional Florentine flat stitch working). La Perla gained exclusive worldwide rights to the production of the extremely elastic Lycra crépe-de-chine.
During the 60s there was a lot of change and rebellion going on around the world. The hippie movement was taking over the fashion world. Ada Masotti realized the changes and adapted the lingerie. So, La Perla launched more colorful creations including multi-colored floral, plaid and checked patterns.
Through the 70s, La Perla introduced more silk, lace and transparent lightness. Including the creation of the silk jersey triangle bra, which allowed more movement. In 1978, La Perla launched its stretch lace sets, mirroring fashion trends with its clinging dresses and natural flowing lines.
Ada Masotti also created La Perla Maison, a collection featuring a range of garments in pure silk satin with embroidered inserts and frastaglio finishing, a technique that to this day is carried out by hand by the artisans of the La Perla atelier.
Starting in the 80s, La Perla started its international expansion under the management of the second generation, Alberto Masotti, who became president. He is responsible for the company’s huge growth, with more than 20 brands. Also, Alberto Masotti’s wife, Olga Masotti, was hired by Ada Masotti as a designer. Through the years the Masotti family redefined lingerie as a clothing accessory.
By 2001 La Perla offered a limited range of women’s clothing and was looking to expand. So, in September 2001 the brand débuted their new underwear and beachwear lines at Milano Moda Donna. To achieve its sales targets, the group created a new styling department and allocated investments in marketing and distribution. Shops were opened in Monaco, Moscow, and Chicago.
Also during 2001 a new Creative Coordinator was entrusted, Sigurd Steinunn, 35, from Iceland who previously worked with Calvin Klein and Tom Ford. Steinunn was supported by six designers and by Anna Masotti who, after graduating from Dams, was made Fashion Coordinator.
By the end of 2001, the company had a consolidated turnover of €235 million, 48% in the Italian market, 52% abroad. The company had 54 own-brand shops, 38 of which were abroad, and the workforce totaled 1,400 people, plus as many in the associated company. Also, the début of the new boutiques in Japan (Fukuoka), US (Costa Mesa, Chicago) and the web boutique.
In April 2002 Grigioperla Touch is the new men’s prêt-à-porter of La Perla, which made its début at Milano Moda Uomo. Then, in September an alliance was created between technology and fashion, and with Nylstar, a giant in technological innovation in the field of fibers and yarns. In addition to product innovation, the distribution network was further expanded through new own-brand shops, in addition to the 15 in Italy and 24 abroad. After the début in Madrid, La Perla also opened in Soho, New York. Later, in December, Alessandro Dell’Acqua, designer from Naples, became the new Creative Director of the prêt-à-porter lines. The year closed with a turnover of €250 million.
In November 2004 the company celebrated 50 years of business with an exhibition dedicated to the Bologna painter, Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665). The choice was dictated by the desire to pay tribute to female creativity. Also, for its 50th anniversary, the brand created a limited edition collection made with Valencienne lace, produced on the ancient mechanic looms of Calais, the most important Leavers lace centre in the world.
In 2007 the brand launched the iconic Cage bustier, worn by Victoria Beckham, for the Spice Girl reunion video “Headlines”.
La Perla Purchased
2011 was an important year for the brand with a collaboration with designer Jean Paul Gaultier, and the incursion in the shapewear market. Later, in 2013, La Perla was purchased by Italian entrepreneur Silvio Scaglia and Pacific Global Management. Also, during this year the brand launched a Made to Measure service available at the brand’s most important flagships stores.
Through 2014 strategic changes took place, including a new conceptual store design developed with Italian architect Roberto Baiocchi. Also, a new creative turn headed by French art director Fabien Baron.
La Perlashowed its first Atelier Collection in Paris 2015, the runway took place at Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild. The pieces were made by hand and its elaboration took about 14 months, after the show the pieces were displayed at the Brands boutique in Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
In 2016 the shoe designer Julia Haart was named Creative Director, and debuted with the Spring/Summer 2017 collection in September 2016 at Milan Fashion week.
Currently, the brand is owned by Pacific Global Management, overseen by Chairman, Silvio Scaglia, and Creative Director Julia Haart. The current muse is Kendall Jenner who appears in all their campaigns. The company continues to live by the founder Ada Masotti’s motto, “Never compromise on quality and innovation.”
The origins of Prada begin in 1913 when Mario Prada, Milanese luxury craftsman, opened a shop at Galleria Vittorio II in Milan.
Prada is innovative in the field of travel goods, accessories, and luxury goods. The branded uses refined materials, high quality craftsmanship and state of the art design for its products. The brand has quickly become a point of reference for leather accessories and items precious from all over the world.
Thanks to the quality of its creations, Prada meets the demand of the most demanding, experienced clients of the international market, and of high society. In 1919 Mario became an official supplier of the Real Casa d’Italia, obtaining the right to include the coat of arms and the Sabaudi knots in his own brand. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).
On the other hand, Mario Prada ideas made it clear, his goal was to:
“Collapse the shortage of objects that participated in the adventure of stylism, but with detachment; They were fashionable, and unable to go fashionable in the course of a season.”
Miuccia: The Rebellious and Ingenious
Mario’s granddaughter, Miuccia Prada, is an ex-jury of the good bourgeoisie, a sixty-year-old passionate about theater and mime, enrolled at the Small Theater School and the Udi (Union of Italian Women) of the Communist Party.
In 1978 Miucca became part of the family business. Together with her partner and husband, Patrizio Bertelli, they transformed the brand into a world-class luxury goods Made in Italy business. After Miucca took over, the brand begins to compete with Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermès, Gucci.
The company becomes highly industrial, and at the end of 1997 Prada can rely on:
8 establishments with 1184 direct employees;
119 single-store shops, of which 94 are directly controlled;
A total turnover of 1,147,202 billion lire.
The stages of this ascent to the top of international fashion are marked by Miuccia’s creative intuitions and Patrizio Bertelli’s clever business strategies and communication.
The Eighties: Nylon and American Success
In the early 1980s, Nylon handbags arrived in a patented material, Pocono, originally used for military parachutes. Bags are identified by the iconic logo: an inverted metal triangle inspired by the closure of Mario Prada’s trunks, which soon become objects of worship. In 1979 the first shoe collection was launched.
In 1983 he opened the first Green Store in Milan, designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi. It is characterized by a particular shade of light green that will soon be recognized worldwide as Green Prada. From this moment on, Prada opens a network of Green Stores all over the world, the color remaining so unique. (Source: “Prada“, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).
In 1988 the big jump in women’s clothing took place. The decade of the most spectacular hedonism and consumerism of the century. Opposed to “minimalism”, Prada’s fashion is actually the conceptual elaboration and aesthetic disorder of our time, but without any abstraction.
The return to Milan
Prada is Miucca, a bourgeois and schismatic girl who has become a character, with her stage in New York. She turns naked legs even at 10 degrees below zero, wears woolen socks with sandals, and wears a second-long chiffon skirt over rough tweed, which invented her wind-jacketed jackets.
Only after becoming a “case” in the United States and the Anglo-Saxon press, the Prada-Bertelli reported collections on the Milanese catwalks. The Italian journalists who, before the American trip, left empty whole files of the fashion shows in Melzi d’Eril , are left outside the door of the new Via Maffei.
There is a scandal in print, with accusations of censorship. But, the name Prada becomes popular far beyond the fashion world. Also, because the couple follows the common passion for contemporary art, and become collectors to patrons.
The Nineties: The Foundation and the Big Acquisitions
1993: Prada Foundation was founded, followed by the first exhibitions: Eliseo Mattiacci and Nino Franchina. In the same year the Men’s line and Miu Miu, the independent brand created specifically for Miuccia, were created.
1995: The Prada Foundation, a Milan art space, hosts artists such as Anish Kapoor, Michael Heizer, Louise Bourgeois, Dan Flavin, Laurie Anderson, Sam Taylor Wood, Mariko Mori.
1997: Patricia Bertelli, a sailor expert, decides to sponsor and take part in the 2000 America’s Cup in New Zealand.
The choice is to support the new line Prada Sport, a research laboratory for new materials, forms, and behaviors.
June 1998: Prada becomes an important shareholder of Gucci, and listed on the New York Stock Exchange. However, in January 1999, with 34.4% of Gucci by the French group, LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy), Prada surrenders its shares to Bernard Arnault. In six months the brand achieved a surplus of 192 billion Lire to invest in the increasingly international brand development.
In the following years:
The purchase of the majority of Helmut Lang;
Participation in De Rigo (glasses);
A minority stake in Church’s, English shoes;
Then the big hit, the purchase of Jil Sander (75 percent of ordinary shares and 15 of those listed on the Stock Exchange);
Finally the winning public offering of the Church’s majority and the alliance with Bernard Arnault and his Lunch for the holding of the Fendi brand. It is the end of August 1999.
The Epicenter Project.
In 1999, the brand inaugurated a unique project in collaboration with AMO, the think-tank of Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and the architect Rem Koolhaas. Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli entrust AMO with the task of analyzing world shopping trends, conceptualizing new products and applying their findings to new types of stores. Thus, the project of three Epicenter projects, designed outside the type of Green Store, is designed to become a true experimental laboratory.
Strong with an identity that transcends the simple brand, the company continues to affirm its originality in new and unexpected ways. He is among the first to collaborate with visionary architects such as Rem Koolhaas and Herzog & de Meuron, winners of the prestigious Pritzker Prize. The Epicenter of New York, Tokyo and Los Angeles, so different from the classic concept of the store, are the result of A careful analysis of the dynamics of the market in contemporary society and of revolutionary architectural innovation. In these boutiques are exposed luxury goods that are the result of extraordinary technology and design, alongside a multitude of exclusive activities and events. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project)
From 2000 to 2005
A New Venue for Collections
At the beginning of the year, the company is recognized by Interbrand among the 100 most important brands in the world. Starting in 2000, Prada presents its collections in Fogazzaro Street, Milan, in a former industrial establishment. The building, renovated for this purpose, is constantly being reconfigured, giving rise to new architectural environments. In order to enhance the concept of collections, in fact, unique movies, videos and sound settings are projected. (Source: “Prada“, 2009 edition, Prada Arte project)
A joint venture with LVMH, called Lvp Holding Bv, is formed in July for the acquisition of 51% of Fendi’s ordinary shares. In October, the acquisition of 100% of Azzedine Alaia’s shares will take place. The Eyewear and Beauty collections debut.
The 2000 Budget
Consolidated sales grew 56.6% compared to 1999. Gross margin increased by 49.8%. Net income was down 184 billion lire (-42.7%). However, the 1999 figure is influenced by the gain on the sale of Gucci shares to the LVMH, net of which the profits would be 134 billion.
The debt remains high, but it is not due to financial mismanagement, but from the many acquisitions carried out in 1999 and 2000: Church’s, Helmut Lang, Jil Sander, Fendi (joint venture with LVMH) and Azzedine Alaia. Significant ratio of net debt to net equity improved in 2000, thanks to Prada Holding’s capital increase of €260 million.
The budget of the Jil Sander House, which accounts for 10% of total turnover, showed a turnover of €134.8 million. The markets with the largest competitive presence is Germany and American. In Italy, the brand is present in Milan, with a showroom in Piazza Castello.
Acquisitions of 2001.
February: Acquisition of 70% Santacroce.
April: Acquisition of 51% of the company Car Shoe, a brand created and patented in 1962 by the Lombard artisan Gianni Mostile, shoe manufacturer for motorcycle enthusiasts. The value of the operation was not known.
July: Acquisition of 70% of Genny, a Marche company led by Donatella Girombelli. Rumors add up to $100 billion to $120 billion in sales, a figure that must be taken out of the high debt.
November: Agreement with LVMH for the sale of 50% of the Prada Group’s holding in Lvp Holding BV (holding Fendi’s shares owned by LVMH and Prada) for a value of €295 million. Prada and LVMH had purchased 51% of Fendi in 1999, paying $425 million. The figure serves to lower the indebtedness of the Italian Group.
The Epicenter of New York
After three years of research, Prada opens the first Epicenter in New York, at Broadway’s Guggenheim Museum SoHo. Rem Koolhaas and OMA create a scenic spectacular design of a wooden wave linking the ground floor to the bottom. With suspended and motorized hanger cages that move along a network of ceiling mounted rails, and a real stage that Gets out of the wave to host special events. The project has an immediate success and remains one of the most prominent contemporary Prada stores worldwide.
One of the most important features of the New York Center is the northern wall that extends for a whole block, reaching the length of sixty meters. From the earliest designs, OMA conceived the wall as a kind of canvas on which to apply temporary wallpaper. Prada and New York Design Studio 2 × 4 have created different wallpaper to produce ever-newer content. Almost at the same time as the opening of the New York Center, Prada started designing the second Epicenter, located in Tokyo, with the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. (Source: “Prada”, 2009 edition, Prada Arte project)
The long-awaited listing on the Milan Stock Exchange is postponed due to the unfavorable time. The multiple acquisitions made in recent years have exacerbated the debtor situation of the Group, which, in order to face it, is considering issuing. It paves the €700 million bond in favor of Prada. The demand from investors was five times higher than the availability. The €700 million will be used: 300 for capital increase and 400 for repayment of debts.
Financial situation in 2002
March: Debut in Moscow, in the central Tretyakov Passage, the first single-member in Russia. Group Partner is Mercury Distribution.
June: A joint venture was established with the Puig group for the creation and distribution of perfumes and cosmetics marked by the Prada brand. With the purchase of the remaining 25% of Jil Sander, Prada has total control of the German brand.
August:. The remaining 24.29% of Genny Spa is found. The Genny and Byblos brands, to which Ozium is added, are present in the high-end prêt-à-porter and in other product lines including leather goods, glasses, and perfumes through contracts License.
September: Fabio Zambernardi is the design director of the Prada and Miu Miu brands for clothing, footwear, and accessories lines. The limited edition GTS Chrono-Automatic IWC for Prada watch is launched.
Prada and Miu Miu’s direct sales outlets total 160. Group revenues amounted to €1.57 billion. The business volume has maintained a balanced geographical distribution: 26% Italy, 25% rest of Europe, 23% North America and 26% Japan and Asia-Pacific area. Historical brands Prada and Miu Miu contributed 83% of total revenues. Consolidated net income is €27 million.
Prada points to Japan: The Epicenter of Tokyo
March: An agreement was reached for the distribution of Prada glasses with the company Avante-Garde Optics (Luxottica Group) in the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Bertelli announces Group plans for the year. Investments will fall from €130 million in 2002 to €100 million, and will be channeled mainly in the relaunch of younger brands.
Debut a new flagship store in the Ginza district of Tokyo. The third in the Land of the Levant. For the occasion, Prada has produced a Limited Edition Series (2000 copies) exclusively for the Japanese market.
The new Epicenter Prada debuted in Tokyo, designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron. The six-story building, located in the Aoyama district, is one of the city’s most recognizable architectural works. The green glass façade protrudes from a diagonal grid that forms the structure, while it houses commercial areas, lounges and spaces for events. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).
July: A ten-year license agreement with Luxottica Group, a world leader in the optical industry, for the production and distribution of sunglasses and watches with the brands Prada and Miu Miu, begins. The deal contemplates the acquisition by Luxottica of the 100% production and distribution companies of the Prada Group, for a total value of €26.5 million.
The Epicenter of Los Angeles
In 2004, it opens the flagship store of Hong Kong. Miuccia receives New York’s International Award from Cfda.
After the success of the New York Center, OMA plans a new space on the historic Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. In some respects, the new project is the reverse of New York: a wave rises from the road level, rises to the second floor and goes down again. The facade is made up of a single aluminum plate. Many of the inner walls are made up of a special resin sponge that gives an unusual ‘porous’ appearance to the spaces. (Source: “Prada”, 2009 edition, Prada Arte project)
In the same year, the brand expanded its activities by sponsoring Luna Rossa, a sailboat participating in the America’s Cup, and the consequent introduction of the ad hoc technical clothing line the following year.
In April, an agreement was reached with Aedes. This will give rise to Real Estate International, which acquires Prada Group real estate assets for an estimated value of about €100 million and with a capital gain of €30 million of Prada.
Meanwhile, Helmut Lang’s acquisition is completed. The brand headquarters in New York are moved to Milan, while opting for the suspension of Genny’s clothing line, acquired three years earlier.
Departures and the Launch of the First Perfume
In 2005, Simonetta Ciampi was appointed design director for bags and accessories. In the following period, the Prada Group became lighter. With the sale of Helmut Lang, Jil Sander (2006) and Azzedine Alaïa, which returned to 100% in the hands of the Franco-Tunisian designer, while investors entered Banca Intesa, a 5% stake. This involves the incorporation of the Lamos shoe factory and in conjunction with the announcement of the start of the auction.
Also in 2005, for launching the first female fragrance, Miuccia Prada invites filmmaker Ridley Scott, and her daughter Jordan, to collaborate on the production of a short film. To represent the complexity of the feminine essence, Jordan chooses an ancient 1st-century poem entitled “Thunder Perfect Mind”, which illustrates the countless facets of the female psyche. “Thunder Perfect Mind” is shot by father and daughter in Berlin, and has Daria Werbowy, protagonist of the different female roles of wife, virgin, mother, daughter, and lover. (Source: “Prada”, 2009 edition, Prada Arte project)
From 2005 to 2010
In March 2007, Prada launched Prada Phone by LG, the first fully mobile touch screen phone. More than a million pieces sold in 18 months of presence on the market. The process of asset optimization gives its fruit: Prada S.p.A. Closes 2007 with record profit of €127 million, up 65.8% over the previous year.
At the beginning of 2008, during the New York Fashion Week, Trembled Blossoms is presented. In line with Prada’s creative process, Tremclothing, bags, and packaging. The Trembled Blossoms movie is presentedbled Blossoms is born out of contradictory ideas. The interweaving of Miuccia Prada’s many inspirations, ranging from Art Nouveau to Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings, are perfectly restored by surreal designs by artist James Jean, which stimulate the creation of wallpaper, animated shorts, printed fabrics, at the New York Center in the fall of 2007, accompanied by a live performance by the Coco Rosie group, which made up the soundtrack of the film.
The film is subsequently screened during a series of exclusive events in the Epicenter of Los Angeles and Tokyo. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).
An animated short film, entitled Fallen Shadows and directed by James Lima. Inspired by the collection by Steven Maisel in the campaign with Linda Evangelista, features an innovative technique of overlapping digital and traditional images: a hand-painted backdrop makes the background a new generation animation created entirely on the computer. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).
Prada and Contemporary Art
The Waist Down Show
Among the projects for art, Waist Down, is an itinerant exhibition that collects and exhibits the most original and significant models of skirts created by Prada from 1988 to today. The show is conceived by Prada and AMO as a modified event from time to time based on the exhibition space intended to accommodate it. The inauguration of the exhibition takes place in 2004 at the Tokyo Interstate, the second location is the famous Peace Hotel in Shanghai.
In 2006, Waist Down moved to New York City Center in SoHo to continue at the Los Angeles Downtown in Beverly Hills and finish with the inaugural installation of the Prada Transformer in Seoul. Each evolution interprets and conforms to the different exhibition spaces, mixing activities and features of the event with the culture of the host city. With Tokyo in 2004, Shanghai in 2005, New York and Los Angeles in 2006, and Seoul in 2009. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).
Subsequently, the Prada Transformer project is an installation housed for six months next to the historic Gyeonghigung Palace in downtown Seoul, capital of South Korea. It will combine several disciplines within a single building, gathering the various facets of Prada while respecting its autonomy and uniqueness.
Designed by Prada, in collaboration with architect Rem Koolhaas, tetrahedron has been conceived to host four events dedicated to art, cinema, fashion, and the world of culture. Each event has a distinct planimetry: hexagonal, rectangular, cruciform, and circular. Compared to any typical exhibition space that suits everything, the Transformer literally overturns, adapting its appearance to the features of each event.
In recognition of the cultural value of this cutting-edge project, the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano wanted to include the Transformer on his state trip to Korea. This is the only case in the history of the Republic, where a private building is included in the program of the official visit of the Head of State.
The America’s Cup
The Prada Group’s horizons transcend the boundaries of fashion: art, architecture, cinema, culture. Also, major challenges such as the America’s Cup are an integral part of the core values of the brand. Passionate and competent sailor, in 1997 Patrizio Bertelli launched an Italian challenge to America’s Cup, the most important sailing international competition. The ‘Red Moon’ boat wins the Louis Vuitton Cup, the Challenger selections for the 2000 America’s Cup, thus winning the right to challenge the New Zealand defender, which will then be defeated in a fierce final. But ‘Luna Rossa’ will remain a national phenomenon, an icon that has written one of the most important pages in the history of Italian sports. Never before had a sailing event been so followed in Italy.
A few months later, the new Prada Foundation in Milan, curated by Rem Koolhaas, opens to the public in May 2015. An area of 17,500 square meters in an industrial complex of the early twentieth century. In the field of art and culture, the Foundation is considered a true reference world-wide. The attention and interest of Miuccia and Maurizio Bertelli for the contemporary art world lead to the decision to open a space where presenting exhibitions realized in full collaboration with Italian and international artists.
“Prada Foundation is an initiative that aims to receive and retransmit the deepest mental provocations of the art of our time.” Miuccia Prada.
Over the years, the Prada Foundation has explored several research subjects, opening up to issues related to areas such as architecture, philosophy, science, design, and cinema.
From 2011 to Today
Fondazione Prada in Venice
Starting June 2, 2011, the Foundation opened a new exhibition space Ca ‘Corner della Regina”. A prestigious eighteenth-century building overlooking the Grand Canal in Venice, after an important conservation restoration intervention. This impressive historic building, which was made available by the Venice Civic Museum Foundation for 6-12 years, has inaugurated a complex and articulated exhibition that reflects the multifaceted activity of the Foundation.
As of June 24, 2011, the Group placed 20% of its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, recording an initial valorization of the company at €9.2 billion, with the offer covered 3.5 times the available shares.
The “24 Hour Museum” Project
In 2012, Prada launches the “24 Hour Museum” project, conceived by Francesco Vezzoli, in collaboration with Rem Koolhaas’s AMO study. The installation for the “24 Hour Museum” has proposed three distinct moments, each inspired by a particular type of museum space: historical, contemporary, and forgotten. In the three areas, Francesco Vezzoli has imagined a “museum that is not there.” Where he exhibited his homage to the eternal feminine, and the interpretation of classical sculptures that allude a contemporary feel.
In the tradition of collaboration with artists and multiple approaches to the creative process, Prada intervenes to create a new project of linguistic and visual experimentation. The whole exhibition lasts 24 hours, a stage for a great party Baroque.
The Exhibition “Impossible Conversations”
Also in 2012, the Costume Institute, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, hosts the exhibition Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations. From May 10 to August 19, 2012 (preceded on May 7 by the Gala Benefit Event), the exhibition explored the unexpected affinities between the two Italian stylists belonging to different epochs.
Taking inspiration from Miguel Covarrubias’s “Interview impossible” for Vanity Fair in the 1930s, curators Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton gave rise to unreal conversations between these two women. Suggesting, new keys to reading their innovative work.
Elsa Schiaparelli’s and Miuccia Prada’s icons are presented in galleries. Along with 8 videos that simulate a series of conversations between the two stylists directed by Baz Luhrmann to illustrate how in their work they have explored similar themes through very different approaches.
Prada for “The Great Gatsby”
In 2013, Miuccia Prada collaborated with costume designer, Catherine Martin, to create a collection of over 40 exclusive evening cocktail dresses by Miu Miu and Prada for “The Great Gatsby” by Baz Luhrmann. A special show of selected costumes was exhibited at the New York Center from May 1 to May 12, then moved to the Tokyo Expo Center from June 14 to June 30, and finally moved to the IFC Mall in Shanghai from 11 to 21 September 2013.
The show, “Catherine Martin and Miuccia Prada Dress Gatsby”, combines evening dresses, hats, footwear, and jewelry with sketches, scene photos, backstage footage, and movie trailer. Also, mannequins wore the looks of each character accompanied by video from both the film and behind the scenes. Curated by New York’s 2 × 4 studio, the show was designed to change at each stage in order to reflect the unique features of each city that hosted it.
The Prada Gallery and Journal Projects
In 2013 Prada acquires an entire sky-earth portion of a property in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II overlooking the Ottagono and overlooking the historic store dedicated to female collections.
The project “The new Prada Gallery” is being developed in several phases. The first one sees the opening in 2013 of the new Prada Man shop on the ground floor of the palace. The spaces are entirely restored according to the aesthetic and architectural apts of the historic store of 1913.
The next phases of the project include the opening of a dining area on the mezzanine floor and the opening of exhibition spaces devoted to the Prada Foundation.
Also, in 2013 is the launch of Prada Journal, a literary competition in collaboration with Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore and Luxottica. The literary competition also arises from the curiosity of exploring innovative languages through forms of expression that converge on the written word, creating an independent platform of interest and an unusual editorial search reserve. Prada Journal had two more editions in 2014 and 2015.
Two New Short Film’s
In 2013, Prada presents Cannes’s short film “A Theraphy”, written and directed by Roman Polanski, starring Ben Kingsley and Helena Bonham Carter. The author of The Pianist and Carnage has imagined a somewhat weird psychoanalytic sitting where Tim Burton’s wife interprets a rich and bored lady, gripped, while Kingsley is her analyst.
In 2014 another film collaboration: an 8-minute short film directed by critically acclaimed American director, Wes Anderson. Cavalcanti Castle is perfectly located in Anderson’s authoritative universe, only this time in Italy. It’s September 1955, and Jason Schwartzman just went to slam with his racing car against a statue of Jesus. The result is a popular story about cases of fate in a typical ‘Andersonian’ style.
Close to its first centenary, is a holding company employing more than 7800 employees and distributing its products through a network of 353 stores in more than 70 countries.
Acquisitions of 2014
In March, Prada SpA announces the acquisition of 80% of Angelo Marchesi Srl, owner of the Milanese pastry factory founded in 1824. The same year is the acquisition of the historic tannery Mégisserie Hervy at Isle, near Limoges. The acquisition was carried out jointly with Conceria Superior SpA of Santa Croce, a long-time industrial partner of the Prada Group. The aim of the operation is to ensure the recovery and revival of a productive structure which is an example of excellence in the tannin tradition of lamb skins and in particular of “plongé” tassels, with the aim of preserving its precious craft know-how.
Also in 2014, the launch of the Pradasphere project, an exhibition dedicated to the Prada brand and curated by the 2 × 4 studio in New York. The first edition is hosted by Harrods in London for a month. The exhibition follows the multifaceted obsession of the brand through fashion, art, architecture, cinema, sports and more, forty showcases, a pop-up store, video installations, and the elegant Marchesi pastry shop. The second edition of Pradasphere took place in Hong Kong, in a space specially created for the occasion.
After the acquisition of Angelo Marchesi Srl, in September 2015 Pasticceria Marchesi presents at the space, via Monte Napoleone 9. This is the first place after the opening of the historic Milanese coffee. Marchesi Monte Napoleone remains faithful to its style and its impeccable quality, offering a wider range of products. Designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi, the new shop extends over an area of 120 square meters and the interiors reinterpret the atmosphere and charm of Via Santa Maria at Porta 11 / a.
Within a year, Pasticceria Marchesi opened a third shop in the heart of Milan, within the emblematic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a symbol of the city. At the new space, located on the mezzanine floor of the building that houses Prada Man. You can access via stairs or elevators from both Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the Prada store. The new Marchesi space is spread over an area of 250 square meters and reinterprets the atmosphere and fascination of the historic shop of Via Santa Maria alla Porta. Located in a charming setting marked by numerous arch windows, overlooking the beautiful frescoes and precious floors to the mosaic of the Gallery.
The Restoration of the Last Supper by Giorgio Vasari
On November 4, 2016, Giorgio Vasari’s restored the masterpiece in Santa Croce, fifty years after the Flood. Thanks to the commitment of Opificio delle Pietre Dure and the contribution of Prada, Getty Foundation, and Civil Protection. The ceremony takes place in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella and Patrizio Bertelli, Managing Director of the Prada Group, Irene Sanesi, President of the Opera of Santa Croce, Marco Ciatti, Director of the Dure Stone Store, and Antoine Wilmering, Getty Foundation Senior Program Officer.
Giorgio Vasari’s Last Supper, which water and mud swept through this museum’s hall on November 4, 1966, has been preserved for decades in a Superintendency depot along with many other flooded works. After fifty years, thanks to new technologies, the restoration and the painting have been relocated to the Cenacolo. Thanks to the new technology, the Structure of Pietre Dure and the support of Prada, Getty Foundation and Civil Protection to make this possible. The Return of the Last Supper to Santa Croce is a virtuous example of patronage that has seen together in more than ten years. Thanks to Prada, who made it possible to intervene on the painting, the Getty Foundation for wooden support, and Civil Protection who allowed studies and surveys.
The Past Forward Project
Past Forward is a multi-platform film project born in 2016 by the collaboration between Miuccia Prada and US director and screenwriter, David O. Russell. Acclaimed for films such as American Hustle, The Fighter, and The Positive Side. Russell has imagined Past Forward as a dreamy, surreal, and silent landscape with an eclectic cast that re-plays scenes in variable combinations. The result is an unreliable story, a parallax view in which scenes, characters, costumes, genres, and even multiple endings, repeat and turn away. Rejecting the logic of conventional fiction. Russell represents his characters as elements of a complex collage, leaving the spectator the task of decoding what experience, memory, dream, and understanding overlap and differences between them.
Prada Opens Observatory
In December 2016, the Prada Foundation opens Osservatorio, a new exhibition space dedicated to photography and visual languages. Located at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. Observatory is a place of exploration and investigation of the trends and expressions of contemporary photography. The constant evolution of the medium and its connections with other creative disciplines and realities. In a historical moment, in which photography is an integral part of the global digital communication flow, the Prada Foundation, through Osservatorio’s activities, questions the cultural and social implications of current photographic production and its reception. It extends the repertoire of modes and tools with which the Foundation interprets and relies on the present.
Located on the fifth and sixth floor of one of the central buildings, the Osservatorio is above the octagonal, at the level of the glass and iron dome covering the Gallery created by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1867. The environments, rebuilt in After World War II following the bombings that struck the center of Milan in 1943, they underwent a restoration that made available an 800 m2 exhibition space developed on two levels.
The Shaping Conference at Creative Future
In March 2017, the Prada Group presented to Milan “Shaping to Creative Future”, a conference organized in collaboration with the Yale School of Management and the Politecnico of Milan School of Management. The event explored new possible connections between sustainability and innovation. This led to a confrontation between entrepreneurship, culture, and the international academic world. During the first day, at the Prada Foundation, teachers from both universities met with representatives of companies and associations to work out a critical perspective that was the focus of discussion on the next day. The following day, at Prada’s headquarters, entrepreneurial personalities, and spokespersons of international organizations met at a plenary conference, enriching the debate with inspirational insights and personal experiences.