Armani CEO Talks Cut-Throat Fashion
Published: Monday, March 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2013 01:03
Graziano de Boni, the CEO of Armani, spoke to more than 100 students in Lohrfink Auditorium Thursday about the future of the fashion industry, the history of his company and its founder, Giorgio Armani.
The talk was part of a series of talks sponsored by the McDonough Retail and Luxury Association.
“This is the world I’m in. The beautiful world of fashion and the world of beauty,” de Boni said.
De Boni talked about the current economic crisis in Europe and how Armani is reacting to the changing economic climate.
“A lot of people were talking about the death of couture. Some French fashion houses closed their couture lines, but [Giorgio] decided to set up a new luxury line, go against the current, and he set up Armani Prive,” he said.
De Boni noted that the areas in which Armani is expanding fastest are accessories, Internet commerce and men’s luxury items. He added that men’s items are growing quickly are because of the growth of diversity, increased wealth in Asia, the prevalence of single and late-married men and social acceptance of fashion-conscious men.
According to de Boni, maintaining a relationship with the customer one of the most important aspects of a luxury brand.
“It doesn’t matter what you call him or her, the consumer or the client, if you have a relationship, you will get the cash,” de Boni said.
One tactic that Armani has to maintain a relationship with new and aging populations is to have an array of lines for a multitude of customers. The Armani line ranges from high-cost Armani Prive and Armani Collezioni to lower-cost lines such as Emporio Armani, Armani Jeans and Armani Junior. De Boni said that the point is to be able to cater to every age.
“We try to capture the market from baby until to the red carpet,” De Boni said.
De Boni ended the presentation by emphasizing the importance of fashion.
“We do believe that by making people look better, they feel better. And when people feel better, they’ll be better people,” he said.
Although de Boni stressed that the majority of those who work in the fashion industry spend more time doing “gritty work” as opposed to only going to runway shows, he added that not everyone is cut for the industry.
“In the end, it’s like what Giorgio said, ‘It’s all about good taste.’ So if you don’t have it, get out of here.”