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Sykes Jettisoned by Aquascutum; Maurer In at Rabanne June 06th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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High Tech Emporio Armani Hits The Street

Godfrey Deeny
January 17th, 2010 @ 00:08 AM - Milan

If we are to believe the view of Italy’s most famous designer, Giorgio Armani, then men are going to refresh their wardrobes this fall with high-tech sportswear.

Armani opened his latest show on Saturday, Jan. 16, in Milan with four snowboarders, their boards bearing his eagle-like Emporio logo, the chaps dressed in full jumpsuits, with minimalist patchwork finishes. He segued that into futurist après-ski gear, with late '60s graphic design knit tops and technical finish pants, where all the knees where articulated.

In case you did not get the message, his backdrop featured a cube and block abstract warrior figure. This was meant to evoke five shapes from rhombus to rectangle, though in many ways it recalled the logo of the Italia 90 World Cup.

The designer also showed what should be the big item of this fall’s wardrobe, the sporty yet tailored puffer jacket. In Armani’s case it even came in neon green, all the better to ski or cycle home on a cloudy and starless night.

One indication of the house’s obsession with athletic chic was the latest executive to make his front-seat debut at Armani – in this case the CEO of Reebok, Uli Becker, who has just signed a global license with the Milanese house to produce a major new footwear line.

“We’re very excited about this," said Becker. "The energy and ideas of a truly great talent like Armani allied with our high-tech know-how and technological innovation. We are very ambitious about this agreement.”

Expect the first looks in this tie-up to reach retail shelves this fall, when they will roll out in Armani’s global chain of Emporio stores and Reebok’s own network of some 1,000 directly owned or franchise stores. The initial looks, shown in the finale on models who just wore sneakers and underwear, all looked brightly commercial.

Armani also showed a natty new suit, best presented in sleek, gray chalk stripes. Cut with a long, languid lapel and one-button the jacket was nonetheless short, and paired with a newly tapered pant, made for a suit that was youthful yet easy to wear.

His ability to use unexpected fabrics continues to impress, like thick waffle cotton in dapper jerkins, employing sweat pants in active man suits, applying rubber to felt gray pants or embossing micro dots on Napa leather looks.

Somewhat off-kilter, Armani tuned into teenager culture with a faintly agit-prop passage of youthful figures with balaclavas, almost street protest figures with backpacks. The color palette underlined the urban element, whose two dominant hues were asphalt and slate gray.

The man himself, who four months ago appeared as a ghostly thin figure after suffering a bout of hepatitis, took his bow looking rather healthy.

Tanned, bright-eyed and with a beaming smile, he greeted scores of well-wishers backstage, embracing most of them.

And, when one Italian fashion editor told Armani how young he looked, the septuagenarian responded, “Teenagers can have silver hair, too.”

The designer ended a busy day with a soiree in his newly refurbished Emporio Caffe. Redone with sharper, more colorful lighting, the Milanese crowd insisted the cafe had been "Frenchified," a positive note in Italian fashion circles.

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