Leave it to Giorgio Armani when it comes to the unveiling of his fabulous new Rodeo Drive boutique at Oscars week.
The red carpet maestro first ushered in an era of high-stakes celebrity dressing when she dressed Jodie Foster for the 1992 Oscars in her striking champagne silk felt kimono jacket and beaded pants.
Fun fact: He also dressed Laura Dern, Annette Bening, and Anjelica Huston that night, but the suit was the story, which set a new standard for red carpet style.
“I remember [Foster] It was a challenge to wear that trouser suit instead of the classic ballgown,” Armani said in an email interview. “But I believe it created an indelible image in the collective imagination.”
Their Beverly Hills boutique, originally designed by Michael Chow, was a Los Angeles fixture even before it was inaugurated in August 1988 and for power players such as then-Lakers coach Pat Riley, groundbreaking female Hollywood executives Sherry Lansing and Don Steele. Catering, not to mention male stars like Richard Gere, who first solidified the brand name in pop culture.
“My breakthrough in the American business was certainly the deconstructed suit worn by Richard Gere in ‘American Gigolo.’ But let’s not forget that I also dressed Lauren Hutton for some scenes in that movie, in which my soft tailoring was feminine. version and had a style that was very close to practical American sensibility,” Armani said.
With its outdoor terrace, private elevator and VIP dressing office, Rodeo Drive is the engine of the landmark Armani celebrity machine, where nearly every star in the universe from Glenn Close and Martin Scorsese has been in for fittings. For “Hacks” star Hannah Inbinder and “The Power of the Dog” actor Jesse Plemons, who wore Armani to the Critics’ Choice Awards last week.
And now, after nine months of renovations, it’s ready for another close up.
From the street, the iconic facade with the GA logo, now surrounded by two giant palm tree stencils, looks almost like a marquee. Armani said of her favorite feature, “Palm trees are a symbol of Los Angeles and we deliberately chose to integrate them into the store aesthetic, creating shadow effects during the day and graphic-style silhouettes at night.” Building for the natural environment.
Working with their in-house team of architects, they let SoCal into the 9,100-square-foot space, filling it with light and replacing the austerity of the old Armani with a more modern, glamorous interior.
Luxurious marble floors in a variety of colors define the range spaces with twinkling LED screens showcasing Armani/Casa rugs, lamps and furniture and snippets of runway shows and campaigns.
The ground floor has areas dedicated to fragrance, beauty and eyewear, ready-to-wear, home-grown PVC court shoes, brightly colored Bouletto handbags and other accessories.
The dangling pendant light casts the spotlight on dazzling clothing that visitors should only gawk at, including a silver and blue checkerboard evening jacket, red floral embroidered tulle overlaid trousers and a blue and black stacked sequin dress Wearing one that looks like Meghan Markle. (She famously chose Armani for last year’s interview with Oprah.)
Other pieces — like silk capri pants, a draped, beaded halter top and strappy multicolor flat sandals — look Malibu beach ready.
A few stairs up, a balcony area shimmers with paparazzi-ready looks, including an Allover Swarovski crystal beaded tuxedo costing $104,690, a disco-like crystal minidress, and clutch bag.
The men’s department on the second floor of order-to-order focuses on sartorial offerings, as does a new made-to-order women’s department, the first of its kind across the street, where the film “Don’t Look Up” Meryl Streep’s wardrobe. was created. Customers can choose from colors, fabrics, buttons, linings, and more, and their names are next to the Giorgio Armani sewn inside.
“It’s a service that covers a whole world of different customizations, starting with suits, but also including knitwear, leather, and even denim,” Armani said. “It was thanks to this type of service that we increased our market in the industry during the pandemic. That’s when we decided to start a limited service for women, which was highly appreciated, and we realized that there was a demand for personalized outfits from our female audience. The decision to offer this service right here in Los Angeles, a place where women have unique styles and get great exposure in the media, was a natural step for me. I believe it will be a growing business, it may not go beyond evening wear but it will probably reach the same level. ,
Men’s RTWs are well represented, from everyday suiting to black tie. But there are also luxe casual clothing and accessories — comfy, washed Cupro zip-front jackets and matching pants, Allover logo sweatshirts and shorts, jacquard knit slip on sneakers, even a GA Pickle Ball set and hand weights.
For the evening, an exclusive men’s capsule just for the L.A. store has been released, featuring a blue and black velvet jacket, jacquard vest, and more event-ready pieces. In a women’s capsule “Armani gold” focuses on styles.
Pocket doors can close the space for VIPs; There’s also a vanity on the women’s side, so stars can take the private elevator up from the back parking and use the store to get ready for an event, even with Armani as a finishing touch. You can even grab a piece of fine jewelry.
While Armani himself wasn’t able to make the trip to L.A., he was styling the store via video from Milan, changing the look of the two mannequins to better match the Mediterranean blue marble floors a few hours before the store opened. Were were
On Saturday night, his niece Roberta Armani will host an opening party with Nicole Kidman.
“Nicole Kidman is a woman whose beauty embodies an ideal very close to my own,” the designer said of the evening’s collection. “I have a deep admiration for her, she is an actress who is able to interpret the most diverse of roles, manages to reinvent herself every time and stay incredibly current.”
While the pandemic is clearly not over, Armani is now optimistic about opening new store doors.
“I strongly believe in the power of the US market today because it is cyclical, and it always recovers very rapidly,” he said, adding that sales in LA are back to pre-pandemic levels and rising. . “It is the perfect mix of luxury and traditional clientele. It allows us to leverage both our DNA, that is, apparel for special occasions and evening wear, and our ability to respond to new lifestyle trends.”
And although much of the fashion industry’s focus has been on the rise of the digital, it still believes in the power of physical retail.
“The role of the flagship store remains fundamental, although, of course, e-commerce is highly prevalent nowadays. But only a flagship store can engage the customer in a physical experience, where they are truly immersed in the brand world and aesthetic. Let’s enter. It’s an experience that in no way can be expressed through online shopping. The two channels, of course, integrate, but the tangibility of my world becomes real only with a physical flagship store That’s why I work so hard on the content and the tactile and visual impressions I create for the customer,” he said. (The product offerings in the flagship also far exceed those on giorgioarmani.com, which is only the most luxurious available in store pieces.)
“I think most people who buy my clothes online already know my work, so they already have an idea of how my clothes feel when I touch them,” the designer said. “In my case, I believe online is a channel for my existing loyal customers. Anyone who is taking an interest in Armani for the first time should personally do so as to really understand my soft tailoring.”
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