Giorgio Armani literally redefined the look in men’s tailored clothing when he first paraded his slouchy, soft shouldered suits down the runway in the 1970s. Less than a decade later he was doing the same for sportswear by literally putting men at ease in their casual clothing. His signature “soft dressing” design strategy, which can be seen in all of his collections—from A/X, Emporio Armani, and EA7 to Black Label and Armani Collezioni—is still very much in evidence in the Milanese master’s texture-rich cardigan knits, quilted outerwear, fluid knit pants, and unconstructed jackets. Although more constructed and fit closer to the body than ever before, Armani’s choice of materials—plush velvets, textured tweeds, and soft shearlings, among others—shows he still has the soft touch when it comes to sportswear.
Before launching his own signature label in 1975, Giorgio Armani worked as a window dresser at La Rinascente, the Milan department store, and later worked under French designer Nino Cerruti. Although his signature sportswear is too costly for the masses, Armani claims to have a personal dislike for clothing that he deems “too elitist.”