Giorgio Armani has never really been afraid to express his opinions in interviews and his latest with the New York Times‘ Cathy Horyn was no exception.
During their “awkward” lunch, as Horyn described it, at his house in Milan, Armani dished some more on the two topics his interviews generally cover: his frustration with the fashion industry and his succession plans (or lack thereof).
Earlier this year, he expressed to WWD his wish that more Italian designers showed in Italy rather than Paris—taking a small dig at Miuccia Prada (who shows Miu Miu in Paris) by saying, “Someone said there was not enough time to produce two runway shows during the same week, but this is a motivation that does not [satisfy] me — I do it.”
We figured it wasn’t personal, but he criticized Prada again in today’s article, telling Cathy Horyn that he laments the amount of conceptual fashion on the runways. “It’s a defect that many designers have — Prada most of all.”
But, he concedes that his understated wares may not get the same editorial attention. “Because you won’t get the cover of a magazine if you do that. Capito?” Or perhaps he’s accusing other designers of designing for the sole purpose of getting magazine covers? Hmm.
Then again, he did show some pretty over-the-top (and slightly ’80s?) hats during his most recent runway show. The explanation: “He defended them by saying they gave a tidy shape to the models’ heads,” wrote Horyn. Armani also added that his assistants constantly object to his design decisions.
So, you can imagine that he’s not enthusiastic about someone with new ideas coming on board to succeed him. Apparently, he doesn’t want to choose someone well-known with their own style, and if he chooses someone from his own staff, “it will become more Armani than Armani. So what do I do?”
He doesn’t seem to want Stefano Pilati, a long-rumored successor: “Pilati’s already doing Armani.”
“So the solution is to remain here while I can and create a group of people that I can trust, with one person by my side.”
However, an unnamed source told Horyn he ultimately doesn’t care. She writes,
“I don’t think he really cares about what happens when he’s gone,” one person said. “I think he sees the company for his own interests.” And if he’s not guiding it, then he doesn’t care.