Photo Courtesy Giorgio Armani
This weeks guest blogger is none other than the 謩nence grise of Italian design, Giorgio Armani. As the president, chief executive and sole shareholder of the multi-billion-dollar company he founded in 1975, Armani is the wealthiest fashion designer on the planet. He has defined the working wardrobe of the late-20th century and will go down in history as the man who taught Hollywood how to dress. His new 5th Avenue Store opens tonight.
Ciao, New York! I just arrived this weekend for the opening of my new Fifth Avenue store, which I am celebrating on Tuesday night. I am stra-contento to be here. I flew in from Milan, on Alitalia, and I must say that the service was impeccable. The staff was very well mannered and elegant. I was in first class and ate a very nice breakfast and then went right to sleep. Frankly, I was exhausted. Its been a crazy, difficult month. We just had the couture show in Paris, and right before that the mens fashion show in Milan. After this trip, I go straight back to Milan for the womens show. Its intense.
I dont particularly like traveling, but my staff takes very good care of me, which makes it more bearable. When I landed, I waited in the passport control line with everyone else. I had a few problems with the fingerprint machine and had to roll my finger over it four times. The guy looked up at me, then at my passport, then at me again and waved me off, saying, I know you are Armani.
My usual driver, Jonathan, was waiting to pick me up outside in a small black Audi. It was a nice car, but I told him to bring a van tomorrow. Please, I need more room. We drove into the city at 2 p.m., and it was a beautiful day. Even in this difficult time, New York is always the same gorgeous New York. With fewer people, though, Ive noticed. The streets feel empty.
I have an apartment on Central Park West, which makes me feel like a real New Yorker. Its a penthouse with terraces all around. When I bought it about eight years ago, we were just launching Armani Casa so its furnished with the very first pieces I created for the line. The building is from the 1920s so I also used additional furnishings from that period without, obviously, making it look staged.
I sleep very well in that house, but theres one big problem: too much light. Ive noticed that Americans never block out the light properly in bedrooms. In Europe we like to close ourselves off in the dark. I took care of that problem by putting in black-out curtains and now I sleep like a baby.
I arrived in town on St. Valentines Day, but, frankly, who cares? I am all about love but do not like commercial holidays. Its just based on selling things cards, chocolates. I realize Im a businessman and I have to make Valentines Day windows but I dont like it. Im part of the system and so I adapt.
On Saturday night, I went to dinner at an Italian restaurant called Scarpetta with my niece Roberta and a small group of my close Italian friends. I liked the d袯r and the food was pretty good, but you know the service was a bit slow. I ate spaghetti con pomodoro and basilico and, here, I must interject something for your benefit. Americans overcook their pasta. Always. And theres too much sauce. Too much of everything! Please, try to control yourselves.
The fun thing is that the group I was with thought I wanted to go home right after dinner but I said, What are you talking about? I want to go out and see whats going on. They took me to a club called Cielo. We stayed until 2 a.m., and many people were surprised to see me and asked for photos and autographs. Such friendly people. The music was incredible and I had a lot of fun. While I sipped on a vodka, I noticed that the crowd was dressed in a rather basic way. In Europe, the people you see at clubs are extremely beautiful to look at and are wearing very elegant clothes. I dont know, maybe I went to the wrong club.
Ill give you an update on my store later. For now, Im off to La Goulue. Lets see how the Americans tackle French food.
P.S.: I am really excited about the party at my store on Tuesday night. In addition to Victoria Beckham, Alicia Keys, Josh Hartnett and John Mayer, I just found out that the actor Emile Hirsch from Milk and my good friends Martin and Helen Scorsese are coming. Che bello!