Mr Armani on succession, intuition, his relationship with media and how illness changed his perceptions

In a rare interview to Cathy Horyn at The New York Times at his home in Milan, Mr Giorgio Armani has recently spoken about succession, his illness and how he still relies on intuition.

Speaking about wealth and his remarkable recovery from illness he said: “I never realized I was a rich man, funnily enough,” he said. “Work has taken so much time. But I didn’t realize I was wealthy. With the illness, my relationship to possession has changed.”

Mr. Armani enjoys a testy relationship with the news media, which he generally regards as judgmental. He actually likes criticism, he said, but many writers come across as dictatorial, as in “Mr. Armani should be doing pantsuits again.” They forget, he said, “that I’ve already done that.” He laments the amount of conceptual fashion on the runways. “It’s a defect that many designers have — Prada most of all.”

As for succession, Mr Armani said “And if I choose someone from my staff, it will become more Armani than Armani. So what do I do?”, adding “Pilati’s already doing Armani.” (Stefano Pilati is the Creative Director of Zegna) He added, “So the solution is to remain here while I can and create a group of people that I can trust, with one person by my side.”

“I don’t think he really cares about what happens when he’s gone,” one person said. “I think he sees the company for his own interests.” And if he’s not guiding it, then he doesn’t care.

The New York Times 

Mr Giorgio Armani’s home in Milan (photo by Gionata Xera)