A night spent at the restaurant of the Armani Hotel in Milan, a journey into the taste of Mr. Armani, who personally designed every element of the structure, consecrating it, like everything that is part of his aesthetic ideal, an icon of refinement, elegance and perfection of detail.
It is December 1st and the taxi stops in via Manzoni 31. A very long queue has formed a few meters from the main entrance of the Armani Hotel. Curious passers-by get closer, while the crowd in a composed line murmurs excitedly: “Signor Armani is signing copies of his book“.
“Per Amore” is the title of the collection of memoirs published by Rizzoli which, having been out in bookstores for a week, is already a best-seller. Two words (For Love) that could not better describe the designer’s relationship with Milan, the city where he moved from Piacenza with his family in 1949 and where he felt understood and welcomed right away.
A long love story, reciprocated, which sees in the golden triangle of Giorgio Armani’s creativity, the one between his home and HQ in via Borgonuovo, the Armani Hotel in via Manzoni, and the mural in via Broletto, the maximum expression of his genius that has always managed to anticipate the times without ever failing the rigor and style that distinguish him.
Refined aesthete, visionary, courageous entrepreneur and great communicator. Only he was able to create a lifestyle brand with which, today, an entire city identifies itself. Not only in his stylistic code, but also or above all in the values he is able to convey.
He succeeded in the 80s when in Milan together with a group of colleagues led by Beppe Modenese, historic president of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, he created the myth of Made in Italy, or, more recently, when he dedicated “his” wall of via Broletto to his fellow citizens to instill courage by writing “I am there for Milan, with the Milanese with feelings” on the occasion of Christmas 2020 marked by the pandemic uncertainty.
He also succeeded in opening the Milan hotel, the second after the one in Dubai, which was inaugurated in 2011 and has become, to all intents and purposes, an ambassador of the Armani lifestyle, here also extended to the food & drink entertainment sector.
Giorgio Armani has, in fact, personally contributed to the design of all the furnishings that, inspired by the Armani/Casa collections, have been created specifically for the structure. Thus, going up to the seventh floor (strictly at sunset) to the Armani/Bamboo Bar, where the evening begins with a cocktail, a majestic room is revealed in front of us. Boasting a double-height ceiling, backlit onyx elements and immense windows with louvres (a distinctive trait of the brand since the poster of American Gigolò, a film with Richard Gere beautifully dressed in Armani) from which you can admire a wonderful view of the symbols of Milan, first of all the Duomo with its Madonnina.
After the aperitif, we move to one of the two small rooms of the restaurant (on the 7th floor not to be confused with Nobu or EA Restaurant & Caffè that are in the same building), recently renovated and made even more romantic thanks to elegant booths with bamboo decorations, where the Executive Chef Francesco Mascheroni signs dishes in which taste and aromas accompany a journey through Italy, and in particular the places dear to Mr. Armani, from Pantelleria to Rome, with oriental incursions.
It is here, on the seventh floor of the Armani Hotel, that you can understand something more about the success of Signor Armani, as all his collaborators call him. Because while we are wonderfully looked after at the restaurant, he is still there, signing copies of his book, so as not to dissatisfy any reader, once again an example of elegance, rigor, sacrifice, and of being that respectable genius which makes him truly unique.
With the film American Gigolò, in which Julian Kay’s beautiful apartment recalls the color palette dear to Giorgio Armani with the sexy “louvres” in backlight (rolling shutters), it was the first film completely “dressed” by an Italian designer. A success that then gave way to a real Hollywood phenomenon, that of the product placement of outfits and fashion accessories in the productions with great actors.