Giorgio Armani, Fashion’s Most Successful Designer

The Debrief

Oct 19 2022 • 24 mins

BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks describes the designer and businessman’s life, continuing impact on fashion, mysterious succession plans and newfound vulnerability.


Over his decades-long career, Giorgio Armani has built one of fashion’s most successful businesses. Known for his signature tailoring and functional glamour, at 88, he’s retained his dominance in an ever-changing, hyper-competitive industry. Amid speculation about what's to come for the Armani fashion empire, BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks met the titan at his garden in Milan for an intimate conversation about his life, business and future — including succession plans.

“He was a revolutionary in his own way. I can think of maybe five people in fashion who had the impact he had,” said Blanks.

Key Insights:

  • The Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimates Armani has a personal net worth of $9.5 billion. He still owns and runs his company and as Blanks says, may value his independence more than anything.
  • Rumours about Giorgio Armani’s future after Armani include a potential takeover by Bernard Arnault’s LVMH, the Agnelli family’s Exor or Valentino parent Mayhoola.
  • One thing people don’t fully realise about Armani is he is an eccentric, said Blanks. Armani told Blanks his eccentricity lies in his radical approach to design, which is both streamlined and nuanced.
  • Armani’s close relationship with partner Sergio Galeotti, who passed away in 1985, has helped fuel his ascent to status as fashion’s most successful designer. Now, Armani, who has no children and doesn’t claim many friends outside his family and his company, is leaning into a new kind of love and vulnerability, thanks to the presence of his collaborator’s young daughter at the office.

Additional Resources:

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