Giorgio Armani may no longer be considered the cutting edge of upscale fashion, but the man who has come to epitomize Italian style since the 1980s remains the label of choice for the discerning wealthy, and is the best-selling designer worldwide after Ralph Lauren. More importantly perhaps, Armani himself has turned his attention to conquering the business of fashion. The designs may not make headlines any more, but his corporate empire goes from strength to strength. Wealth has allowed Armani to take firm control of every aspect of his business, from manufacturing to distribution to retailing, while also successfully expanding the brand beyond apparel into designer furnishings. Unlike most other European designers, Armani still makes his revenues primarily from clothing (whereas others such as Prada or Louis Vuitton generate theirs mainly from accessories). However following rapid growth during the 1990s, the fashion business has been flat for the last few years; indeed, critics have accused Armani of losing touch with the younger, up-and-coming market. Recently, the designer's biggest push has been into home furnishings, a segment of his business that is benefitting from the launch of hotels and apartments dressed in Armani Casa fabrics and furnishings. The biggest question mark hangs over the future of the empire. Armani celebrated his 85th birthday in 2019, but has yet to announce a clear succession plan. In 2016, he transferred ownership of the group to a newly created charitable foundation set up to fund social projects. Group revenues for 2018 were €2.1bn, down for the third consecutive year (from a high of over €2.5bn in 2014), with net profit of €152m. However the group has no debt and huge cash reserves of €1.3bn. Guiseppe Marsocci and Daniele Ballestrazzi are joint managing directors, reporting to chief executive and chief creative officer Giorgio Armani.
Capsule checked 6th January 2019
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Historical profile information for Giorgio Armani
Adbrands Weekly Update 27th Jul 2017: A wide-ranging restructuring programme depressed revenues at Giorgio Armani group in 2016, but cost-cutting and consolidation of the brand's distribution network boosted profitability. In annual accounts filed this month, Armani reported a 5% decline in sales to €2.5bn, compared to the company's record high the year before of €2.65bn. However net profits rose 12% to €271m, and the company's cash pile grew by more than a third to €881m. The group is also rationalising its fashion offering, cutting the less profitable Armani Collezioni and Armani Jeans lines to focus on three core labels of Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and A|X Armani Exchange.
Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd May 2014: Fashion giant Giorgio Armani reported another year's solid growth with group revenues rising 4.5% to a new high of €2.1bn. Total retail sales for Armani products, including licensed products, were estimated at €7.75bn, or around $10.3bn. Armani continued to expand his control over all aspects of his empire, most recently by buying out his 50% partner in the AX Armani Exchange "fast fashion" label for an undisclosed sum.
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