Giorgio Armani’s perfect metal-rimmed glasses

GIORGIO ARMANI, TODAY 86 years old and still at the helm of the Milanese fashion house he founded in 1975, is a master of expansion and evolution. Since coming to international attention with Richard Gere’s wardrobe in Paul Schrader’s noirish 1980 film “American Gigolo,” the designer liberated a generation of men from the boxy black-and-navy conformity of Brooks Brothers with his draped linen jackets and suits in tones of dove and cappuccino. Informed by the traditions of Italian couture, Japanese aesthetics and Art Deco, his empire now encompasses everything from furniture to perfume, but he never wavered in his dedication to monochromatic modernity.


Chapter 1: To the rise of strong “oriental” perfumes that reflect the political and cultural landscapes of their time, the 1980s.

Chapter 2: On ’90s advancements in black weaves, wigs and other hairstyles that ushered in a new era of self-expression.

Chapter 3: On vegetable oils, a simple fact of life in much of the world that here in the West began to take on an almost religious aura in the 2000s.

Chapter 4: On men wearing makeup, a practice with a long history, but which has really taken off in the last decade.

Armani himself sticks to a fresh, boyish uniform that has remained constant over the decades: navy cashmere or cotton sweaters, a thin-gauge white t-shirt, sharply tailored pants and white sneakers immaculate. But perhaps his most recognizable signature is a pair of oval-shaped silver metal-rimmed glasses that he’s worn, in the form of sunglasses and reading glasses, since the late 1980s, when he introduced them. as part of the house’s very first eyewear collection. “Once I find something that works for me, I rarely change it. I just updated it,” he says. And while he subtly altered the shape of the glasses over time, their essence has remained intact for over 30 years, withstanding the rise of the now ubiquitous chunky-rimmed tortoiseshell, oversized aviator and many other passing trends. Its latest iteration, called Icon, features titanium frames in gold, bronze, or black with a choice of blue, brown, or clear lenses. Perpetually influenced by the golden age of Hollywood, Armani evokes his “fantasy and his memory of the particular atmospheres and elegance of these films: the softness, the simplicity and yet the absolute accuracy of the way the characters s ‘dressed,’ he said. “These are glasses Cary Grant would have worn wonderfully – or Greta Garbo.”

Sarah C. Figueiredo