The new face of menís business suits was an instant success, and several months later, Armani went on to offer a similar tailored jacket for women. The style was rather masculine and incorporated the same fabrics as the menswear line. Simple and soft, this jacket was an avant-garde approach to womenís clothing and instilled confidence and authority in those who wore it. Armani was soon regarded as the man behind the ďpower suitsĒ, and he was the first fashion designer to appear on the cover of Time Magazine since 1940. He had a strong influence over the fashion market and was the force behind an international economic boom that started in the 1980s.
Armaniís sophisticated clothing took the fashion industry by surprise, as many of the styles could be described as androgynous. Armani used a neutral color palette, incorporating shades of beige and grey. His cuts were clean and simple; not overly feminine or masculine. This was a huge change from the recent fashion trends, which had men wearing handsome suits and women wearing long, flowered skirts and dresses. Yet as more women entered the work world and were in need of a wardrobe that was both professional and attractive, Armaniís distinct tastes were the perfect match. This new gender-neutral line of clothing was tasteful and sophisticated, and fashion critics who once questioned the label were overridden by consumers who took an immediate liking to it.
The brand has a variety of sub-labels that cater to specific groups. This smart marketing approach has given the company even more success, as the designer look can be worn by all types of individuals, not just professional men and women that the signature line was intended for. For example, Emporio Armani is geared toward the 25-35 age groups and offers a variety of contemporary designs. Armani Collezioni is an affordable fashion line that comes 20% cheaper than Armaniís signature line. Itís designed for those who love the Armani look but canít afford the high price tag. Armani Jeans is a collection of denim jeans that are marketed toward the 18-30 age groups, selling trendy designs that donít compromise luxury.
Armani uses ethnically diverse runway models to showcase the variety within the label. And this season is no exception, as Armani models showcase the labelís opulent fabrics, avant-garde designs and subdued color palette. Part of the recent trends are dark colored trousers, sleeveless tops with shoulder necklines and tailored jackets. The trousers come in a variety of cuts, some straight-legged and skinny, while others are loose-fitting, soft and sport a masculine hemline.
Shades of blue and black are the focus of the collections, which incorporate stunning crystals or faux fur to dress up the handsome outfits. The inspiration behind the Winter 2011/12 runway shows was the ďwoman of mysteryĒ, with dark eye glasses and sharp, pointed hats worn low on the forehead. This mysterious look was captured in many of the designerís creations, balancing a look of elegance and curiosity. Other highlights from Armaniís newest collections include long, trench coat jackets, chiffon dresses that fall at the ankles and layered skirts that have a Goth-like appearance.