Giorgio Armani parades in Dubai
The famous designer returns to Dubai, in conjunction with the Expo, to celebrate 10 years of the Armani Hotels
“Elegance is not about being noticed, but about being remembered” is one of the most famous quotes by Giorgio Armani, the first Italian designer to believe in communicating with the world and his time and realize how important it is to assign meaning and value to luxury beyond fashion. Being “remembered” on special occasions, in all fields of life.
In 2010, on the first 39 floors of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, a needle pointing up at the sky with a total height of 829,8 meters and 160 floors, King Giorgio inaugurated in Dubai his Armani Hotel.
Ten years later (+1 because of the pandemic), at the same time as the Expo 2020, Dubai was the setting for a special fashion show and an unforgettable night, the One Night Only, which landed in the Arabian Peninsula’s Emerald City after London in 2006, Tokyo in 2007, Beijing in 2012, Rome and New York in 2013 and Paris in 2014, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Armani hotels in Milan and Dubai.
How does this magical synergy of events make you feel?
“The Expo has always been a great boost for human creativity. I experienced it firsthand in Milan, with the opening of the Armani/Silos (the exhibition space showcasing Giorgio Armani’s creative work, editor’s note). Now I am in Dubai, at the Expo again, but to celebrate my hotel’s 10th birthday with a special event”.
With the One Night Only Dubai, Armani left his GA initials imprinted on the Emirate, although his presence was already very strong in this glittering metropolis by the sea. The 87-year-old fashion designer, in fact, owns a considerable number of stores, including the permanent flagship Giorgio Armani store at the Dubai Mall. The gem of his collection, however, is the Armani Hotel which, with its ultramodern curved lines and polished concrete walls, now celebrates eleven years of activity.
Your sleek and sophisticated style, enriched with precious details, has become very popular in the Middle East. To what extent does this boost your creativity?
“I am happy and proud to be here. The Middle East is the cradle of a new concept of luxury, synonymous with ongoing evolution and experimentation which draws on the roots and magic of a rich and deep culture capable of generating new creative energy”.
And the One Night Only Dubai stressed the importance of this special bond by sending down the runway 110 different looks, a medley of the Giorgio Armani men’s and women’s spring/summer 2022 collections, with the glitz and glittering addition of Haute Couture Giorgio Armani Privé from the fall/winter 2021/22 Shine collection. The show was a huge success: the bright catwalk wound sinuously along the hotel’s curvilinear form, with the city’s night lights and artificial lake with fountain show in the background. The stylized metallic palm trees served as the backdrop to the event, with the word ‘mare’ repeated over and over in the Italian songs playing as the soundtrack to the show.
Among the celebrities sitting front row were British actor Clive Owen, Lily James - the famous Lady Rose MacClare from Downton Abbey - Sharon Stone wearing the designer’s portrait on her dress, Jurnee Smollet, the star of the Cosby TV series, American supermodel Taylor Hill and Marcell Jacobs, the world’s fastest man, and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin who, following the release of the Music of the Spheres band’s new album on October 15, unexpectedly performed at the after party before 400 guests, including dignitaries and high-ranking families of the United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, such as Raya Abirached, Hanan Sobati, Diana Haddad, Nahla Al Fahad, Raja Al Gurg.
A magnificent, unforgettable event, but planned in a responsible way.
Is sustainability something that not even the fashion industry can ignore anymore?
“The exponentially growing interest in more sustainable fashion caught us all by surprise, spurring us to speed up the process. It is not easy to do our job by respecting certain boundaries, but it is necessary”.
Driven by this awareness, Giorgio Armani works to make his production as sustainable as possible: recyclable materials, LED lights, hybrid or electric cars for guests and the promotion of eco-friendly projects to make up for the greenhouse gas emissions caused by guests flying in from all over the world. It is only the first step, of course, but well-pondered: a pathway to a different future. In addition to strengthening the idea of progress and sustainability, two of Expo 2020’s key themes, the event has further highlighted the fashion designer’s bond with the city of Dubai, to the point that, on those same days, Armani was granted the Golden Visa, a 10-year residence permit in the Emirate for his contribution to the country.
What makes Dubai so attractive right now?
“ I believe that Dubai is a truly dynamic place, a very modern city with huge energy. I love the metropolitan lifestyle and when a city attracts attention, investments and business, it becomes a magnet for interesting people. There is a side of Dubai that is very Armani-style and similar to my personality, a quality we share: it is definitely a place that looks to the future, fast-changing, where there seem to be no limits to imagination. No other place in the world compares to the wonder of Dubai, conceived and developed for the sole purpose of amazing the world”.
Speaking of the future, what do you predict for the fashion industry?
“Hard to say, but I believe that an osmosis process is happening: people are increasingly beauty-oriented, without geographical or cultural distinction. If people like something, they just use it, regardless of one’s origins or background. I’m glad.”