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Milan Fashion Week on Thursday celebrated the 40th anniversary of Giorgio Armani's Emporio line of high-end ready-to-wear designs for a younger, trendier clientele.
The designer, who 18 months ago was the first to close the doors of his show to the public as the coronavirus pandemic exploded, showed off his collection to a live audience.
"It's exciting to see the public again, but the public has to respond. We are once again exposing ourselves to the risk: that of applause that may not come, that of people leaving the room because they have an appointment," he said after the show.
The Emporio line was born at a time when Italian fashion was making its mark on the global stage.
Giorgio Armani wanted to broaden his audience by targeting younger people with more modest budgets.
So he decided to create a more accessible clothing line.
"I remember the day I drew that eagle, which became the Emporio logo," he said, recalling that he was on the phone with then associate and partner Sergio Galeotti.
He "said to me 'we have to make our own Lacoste'. I asked myself: what flies high, above everything? The eagle".
The result was a success story that has lasted for 40 years and that Armani continues to write, playing on a repertoire that has become its trademark.
At the time, the house shocked the fashion world by adding denim to its collections. Today, denim patchworks opened the show.
The collection included fluid sarouel trousers evoking the desert, shirts with Mao collars and bright exotic colours.
The Milanese designer says he continues to innovate "by looking around and not doing what is proposed to you. This is my way of thinking and I will never give up".