Today, just about every designer has an affordable sister brand and I mean, it's not hard to understand why. The impact of the recession has meant that spending has moved to the middle market and it doesn't quite feel right burning money on luxury items like it did in the boom times. In reality, though, not all of them are doing well (hello D&G) but by the sounds of it, A|X Armani Exchange is doing something right.
In the course of the past year, the affordable branch of the Armani empire has gone from strength to strength. Earlier on this summer they launched their first freestanding store in Canada and, just like every other brand, are hard at work in Asia too. But don't worry; they haven't forgotten about us in the UK. As of October they are opening their first store in Cardiff in St David's shopping centre and even sooner they're opening a new space at Meadowhall centre in Sheffield on September 4 followed by The Friary centre in Guildford on September 6.
While the weather shows no signs of summer being here nor being anywhere on the horizon, that isn't stopping Emporio Armani from hosting their annual summer garden live event at their Bond Street store tonight.
Over the past few years the annual event has become quite a fixture on the summer calendar, especially since it sees the brand partner with various record labels to showcase the artists we'll all be listening to in the coming months. The special performers taking part tonight are as yet still firmly under wraps. I'll be there all night, though, working with the team to live tweet all of the images, updates and news from the night as it happens.
Follow me at @thefashpack to make sure you don't miss anything.
At last night's Met Gala Rihanna confirmed that her plan to launch her own label is well underway. In the meantime, though, she's continuing to lend her designing skills to Armani. Yesterday the brand announced that the singer has designed another capsule collection for both Armani Jeans and Emporio Armani underwear. The collection, which will feature everything from denim shorts with tartan rolls up to simple tanks and tops, will hit stores worldwide next April.
Regular readers will know that the 'Chelsea' sunglasses from House of Harlow 1960 are my summer style of choice but it looks like I might have to add a Giorgio Armani pair too. This week the brand released a summer collection of sunglasses to follow up on the successful launch of their 'Frames of Life' campaign back in 2010.
While the brand hasn't particularly been one that I have turned to for eyewear in the past, I really like their summer offerings this season. The clear frames feel contemporary without feeling too trendy and the old school cinematic feel of the campaign images articulate the timeless quality of the sunglasses perfectly. To support the collection the brand have also launched a special website full of images from the campaign as well as behind-the-scenes videos and stills charting the experiences of the campaign models on the shoot.
This outfit makes me smile. After returning to the red carpet after having her second child, Jessica Alba has been a bit hit and miss for me with her outfit choices but all is forgiven with this look.
The actress chose this elegant LBD with a floral panel along the hemline to attend the openeing of the Armani Hotel Milano last night. The updo, statement costume jewelery and classic Stella McCartney pumps work brilliantly.
For years people have speculated about David Beckham launching his own line and now the rumours are finally true as the sports star prepares to launch his debut line - a collection of men's bodywear featuring both separates and underwear.
"I have had the idea of doing a bodywear collection for some time now," he told WWD. "The push to do something of my own really came as a result of my collaboration with Armani. They told me that their gross turnover in 2007 was around €16 million (£14.1 million), and after the campaign in 2008 it went up to €31 million (£38.7 million), in 2008. It proved to me that there is a real market for good-looking, well-made men's bodywear."
Olivia Wilde usually gets our vote for her red carept looks but we're not convinced with this choice. Yesterday the actress attended the premiere of her new film 'Tron' in this Armani dress teamed with black Stella McCartney heels.
Roitfeld continues to focus on working with emerging talent. "I don’t think, especially when you start in the business, you need 20 artists," he told Nowness, "but two to three people you really believe in [where you can] have a relationship that will last for a little bit." But don't be fooled. He definitely isn't afriad of working with big fashion houses. "I don’t see why it is so bad for an artist to do something with such a credible person as Mr. Armani or a brand like Vuitton or Prada, or Miuccia herself. I don’t think it’s good to only do exhibitions and collaborations with fashion names, but I don’t see how it hurts the artist to do suddenly a huge show in Milan and New York with Armani, which had thousands of people coming and was all over the press. If the art is good and this element doesn’t take too much away from the creative side, then it doesn’t hurt."
Despite Stefano Pilati producing a strong show for YSL this week, many still claim that his position at the house is in jeopardy with some going as far as stating that bosses at the brand have already began headhunting potential replacements. Godfrey Deeny was as surprised about the continuing speculation as us. In Fashion Wire Daily he wrote:
"However, it was ironic on exiting such a powerful show to recall that Paris has been flooded by rumors that Pilati’s position is under threat, and that headhunters have been actively interviewing potential replacements, which says something for the nervousness of the times. For, in effect, Pilati just underwent a very public test of his talent, which he passed with flying colors. In a season where roughly one three designers in New York and in Europe made some reference to YSL, Pilati’s was unquestionably the best interpretation. It’s a strange way to fight for your job, but these are strange, and straightening, times in fashion."
What do you think? Should we expect to see Pilati at YSL this time next year or will he be at Armani has previously reported?