The definitive guide to the iconic Italian men’s and womenswear brand.

After years spent working in the fashion industry and learning the rigors of men’s tailoring at Italian men’s label Cerruti, Giorgio Armani designed his first menswear pieces under his own name including the now iconic leather bomber jackets.

In partnership with architectural draftsman Sergio Galeotti (pictured right), Giorgio Armani SpA is established and his first full menswear collection is shown that July. With a similar jacket to the style loved in his menswear collections, Armani launches his womenswear line in October.

The Armani enterprise expands offering the brand’s signature look and quality for less with the launch of diffusion lines, Armani Jeans and Emporio Armani. It is this year that the trademark logo of Armani’s initials and an imperial eagle are first seen appearing on jeans, T-shirts and shoes.

When his long-term business and romantic partner, Sergio Galeotti passes away, Armani takes on all business duties alongside designing and becomes the sole owner of the business – of which he remains today.

Armani Collezioni is launched worldwide – replacing the existing men’s and women’s Giorgio Armani Le Collezioni lines –, fusing traditional elements of the sophisticated and elegant Armani tailoring with a contemporary edge.

At 70 years of age and 34 years at the helm of his brand, Armani declares his commitment to keeping his company private as long as he is in charge. Under the Emporio Armani label this year, a line of contemporary sports-influenced clothing, shoes and accessories called EA7 is launched.

As Armani is named Best Designer at GQ’s Men of the Year Awards, the first Armani hotel is opened in the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai; also coinciding with the launch of Armani Dolci – a range of fine chocolates, ice cream and other confectionaries. Continuing their success, the company announce an 80% rise in profits.

Turning 80 in July, Giorgio Armani is officially the most successful Italian designer ever, remaining the independent owner of his eponymous brand and showing continual rise in profits year on year.