Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Giorgio Armani, Milan

So this photo has finally run in Wallpaper magazine so I can finally share it with you.

Back in April I was in Milan shooting the Salone for Wallpaper.
It was Saturday, the last day, and the fair was slowing down so I took a lazy walk around the Brera.
I was on Via Borgonuovo when I looked up and saw Armani walking down the street.
Actually, I saw Armani’s giant bodyguard first but Armani was about four steps in front of him.
Anyway, I stopped Armani and began to ask him, and quickly began asking the bodyguard (that guy moves quick) if I could take his photo.
He asked for a business card ,which I didn’t have on me, so he looked me over and agreed to let me take his picture.

Armani still looked a little hesitant but I have seen him in action enough backstage at his shows that I know he likes to be shot against a dark backdrop to highlight his white hair.

He began to take his one of his trademark poses but I motioned that we should move off the street and in front of a nearby building with a dark background. I motioned to his hair and said something like “bene constrasto” (not to be confused with “bene castrato”). This instantly won a few big points with him and he was very patient while I got a couple of shots.

Funny thing, one of the reasons Armani has built such an incredible empire is he is very careful with every aspect of his image. For example, when you take a photo of Armani he will not look up at the camera until he has set his pose and checked every element of his look. You cannot take a picture of him until he is ready.
As a photographer this is a pain but it is a perfect example of how he continues to worry about every little aspect – I have tremendous respect for that. The guy is in his 70′s and is still sweating all the little details.


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  1. echomrg

    July 31, 2007 at 9:07 am

    that should probably read “via borgonuOvo”…

    anyway, you did manage to catch a very stylish “street portrait”.


  2. Anonymous

    July 31, 2007 at 9:18 am

    very interesting story. armani, possibly only equalled by ralph lauren, has been the absolute master of image management. every detail of his products is considered so that it fits with with the lifestyle-image being projected, and he himself has always been – and apparently still is – part of that. i think it’s time for him to drop the tight navy tee shirts though……

  3. Anonymous

    July 31, 2007 at 9:20 am

    Damn he’s hott for 70!

  4. Anonymous

    July 31, 2007 at 9:25 am

    Watching Armani readying himself and his collection in place before a presentation or show is a rare treat, the man is an impeccable perfectionist, noticing details that would pass others by. The man is the very definition of a gentleman and one of a kind.

  5. ergothedesign

    July 31, 2007 at 9:29 am

    nice one! Textured story to boot. cheers.

  6. Anonymous

    July 31, 2007 at 9:30 am

    Mr. Armani –
    class act
    amazing businessman
    looks great for his age

    He is VERY guarded about his image so he must have heard of you! Congratulations!

  7. Anonymous

    July 31, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Wow! Is this the first time you’ve photographed Armani? I know from the blog that his ads had quite an impact on you as a youth. Very cool picture too, he looks great.

  8. Alice Olive

    July 31, 2007 at 9:35 am

    I respect that attention to his image. Good for him. He continues to cut a dashing figure.

    I disagree with anonymous at 9.18am – I think he carries off those navy t-shirts well. They are simple and uncluttered (which is actually how I would describe his design aesthetic). If the colour was something like hot pink, however, I’d probably change my tune!

  9. jessiegurl79

    July 31, 2007 at 9:44 am

    Wow… that’s very interesting.. Armani is in very good shape for his age. Looks good!

  10. nycinside

    July 31, 2007 at 9:47 am


  11. Anonymous

    July 31, 2007 at 10:06 am


  12. ricpic

    July 31, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Beyond a certain age wearing a tight t-shirt is wrong.

  13. Café Mode

    July 31, 2007 at 10:23 am

    I like when you explain your pictures, especially when there’s such a nice story behind.

  14. Iheartfashion

    July 31, 2007 at 10:39 am

    Great shot; the dark background looks fantastic.

  15. materfamilias

    July 31, 2007 at 11:01 am

    Wow! Imagine having the confidence to rock a t-shirt that fitted at 70 — and imagine still looking good in it! My husband still looks pretty good in his at 56, same lean look, so I’m going to cross my fingers he has another decade or so. While my guy is judicious about wearing his–not too often, rarely quite this fitted–I don’t agree that armani should give his up — it seems very central to this look, at least, and I think he wears it beautifully

  16. Claire

    July 31, 2007 at 11:13 am

    Armani’s perfectionism and attention to detail has made him the success he is.

    Lovely photo, great story!

  17. m-

    July 31, 2007 at 11:37 am

    he’s hot, period!

  18. Anonymous

    July 31, 2007 at 11:45 am

    Never leave home without your card case! Cheers.

  19. Shaun

    July 31, 2007 at 11:48 am

    This is so age appropriate that I could just die, this meaning, I absolutely adore it. There is much to say about a man who can render and stage a perfect shot in a velvet blazer, chic.

  20. Craig

    July 31, 2007 at 11:51 am

    He’s looking healthy and really great. But whoa nelly does he need to not wear that that shirt.

  21. JO

    July 31, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    GREAT POST! and as always, a Stunning shot! THANKS for sharing!

    PS I be my hubby looks that hot when he is in his 70s ;)

  22. Anonymous

    July 31, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    It’s not “bene contrasto” but ” buon contrasto”
    Ciao ;)

  23. Ami

    July 31, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    thusly, I’ve never seen a bad photo of Armani…yours is excellent.

  24. Scott

    July 31, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    He has wonderfully white hair to contrast with the dark clothes and background! What a classically elegant man, even in casual clothes.

  25. iopine

    July 31, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    What a great photo, and what a nice post. I love his work so much. I hope he is with us a long, long time.

  26. Anonymous

    July 31, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Beautiful picture.
    What camera do you use?

  27. Christina

    July 31, 2007 at 1:23 pm


    just beautiful!

  28. Thysz

    July 31, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    absolutely fabulous. sweat the details, that’s the catchphrase of the year!

  29. Candid Cool

    July 31, 2007 at 1:56 pm


  30. mudrocks

    July 31, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    interesting story. I want his jacket (blazer, not sure what people call it, but the female version will do =)

  31. Sarah

    July 31, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    brilliant photograph, and it’s great to hear background!

  32. Anonymous

    July 31, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    I admire his work and all he’s done for menswear- but this photo makes him look like “eddie”, the mascot for Iron Maiden, in Armani.

  33. Anonymous

    July 31, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    Kate Moss did the same thing (“The Pre-Photo Photographer Once Over”) to my boss’ daughter in the Caribbean recently.

    Interesting, despite his brand management issues, that he was about to take a regular street shot with you. Taking him to a darkened backdrop was classy, Sart.


  34. Butch

    July 31, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    Great shot in that it is, in particular, about the whole person, rather than about all those details, which get subsumed…oh, you follow!

  35. Anonymous

    July 31, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    He’s a legend but I’m going to go ahead and say that shirt is a no-no. *awaits wrath of the fashion gods*

  36. Columbus Fashion Week

    July 31, 2007 at 3:47 pm


  37. Ida

    July 31, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    wow he’s in good shape for being 70, but he should without doubt ditch that t-shirt, which is waaay to tight, or maybe it’s just the material.

  38. Ondo Lady

    July 31, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    Wow is he really 70? He looks so good for his age. He is such a legend, when you think of Armani you think of beautiful classic lines and exquisite tailoring. Great pic, I bet that made your day.

  39. Anonymous

    July 31, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    great portrait, interesting story, and very good tips.
    Gracias ;)

  40. Anonymous

    July 31, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    Drop the tight t-shirts is good advice, but the man does have style! In an age when just about everybody you encounter looks sloppy and conveys nothing more than carelessness, it’s refreshing to see such disciplined elan as this man personifies.

  41. suziep

    July 31, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    yuk, he’s tee-short is way too tight.

  42. The Glossy Editor

    July 31, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    Wow. What an amazing shot Sart…you continue to inspire as do your subjects!

  43. editor

    July 31, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    wonderful anecdote. i enjoyed the story as much if not more than the image, but they compliment each other very well.

  44. Muddy

    July 31, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    for the past years, i have been working on my eye for details. i used to be very general, or wide-scope that i sometimes forget that the little details is what counts, from reports to clothes. armani, therefore, is whom i should look up to.

    plus, the white hair look is so cool.

  45. Jack Daniel

    July 31, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    I’ve seen a documentary about Armani a couple years ago. He keeps his employees very very strict disciplined, but he just wants everything to be perfect.


  46. Cooky Blaha

    July 31, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    looks like dude from poltergeist

  47. madameshawshank

    July 31, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    the background briefing to the photo was a beautiful treat…

    the joy of these gifted images..day after wondrous day…

  48. Blaise

    July 31, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    I wonder what must it feel like experiencing your experience.. Very interesting story, thanks for sharing.. ;)

  49. m-

    July 31, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    i am so baffled as to why so many people believe this LEGEND needs to ditch the tight t-shirt.
    his body looks amazing…don’t you guys understand that fashion is about celebrating sexiness and the physique. you all wish you could look so good at any age…he just happens to be in his 70s. sart, back me up on this one.

  50. zuccotto

    July 31, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    I find the neg tee shirt comments hilarious. (I’m a 65 year old woman).

    Go for it, Giorgio,

    con rispetto.

  51. kookaii

    July 31, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    Great contrast indeed. You’re getting good at this, Scott.


  52. Anonymous

    July 31, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Thank you very much for the interesting story and the great shot!I’ve met Armani in 10 Corso Como…and he is so polite, so elegant…he is a legend!Thank you again Sart!

  53. Karen G. Anderson

    August 1, 2007 at 12:58 am

    NICE work. You and he are both inspirations.

  54. Cucho Olivares

    August 1, 2007 at 1:12 am

    He is il Maestri!

  55. Anonymous

    August 1, 2007 at 1:49 am

    Tight shirt a no-no?!? This guy MADE the rules people, he can do whatever the hell he wants.. & it looks fabulous on him. So stow the jealousy!
    Holy God I hope I look that good at his age.

    Bravo, Bravo, Bravo!

  56. Anonymous

    August 1, 2007 at 1:53 am

    Armani is god, of course, but god with man-bosoms, alas.

  57. Anonymous

    August 1, 2007 at 3:10 am

    I think he looks great. I’m torn on the T-shirt, but leaning toward a thumbs-up. How did it look in person?

  58. Diana

    August 1, 2007 at 4:18 am

    When I was a teenager (i am 30 now) I was in love with Armani!!!!! Looking at this picture now, it is no wonder, the Maestro is still very hot.
    Thanks a lot, Sart!

  59. Anonymous

    August 1, 2007 at 5:16 am

    Bel contrasto

  60. Deja Pseu

    August 1, 2007 at 8:44 am

    Often black clothing just recedes in a photo, but I love how even against the black background, you’ve managed to highlight the different textures in the pieces he’s wearing. Beautiful work, and quite a coup getting him to pose for you.

  61. simply olive

    August 1, 2007 at 8:47 am

    …oh, the armani empire…

    he needs to stay out of the sun.

  62. Anonymous

    August 1, 2007 at 10:13 am

    I agree with simply olive.Too much sun,but maybe it is too late now.The face tells it all.

  63. Carolina Lange

    August 1, 2007 at 10:41 am

    He is fantastic!!!

  64. Anonymous

    August 1, 2007 at 10:47 am

    um…the t-shirt is his signature. why would he change it now.

  65. Anonymous

    August 2, 2007 at 7:20 am

    Congratulations, Sart. It’s a beautiful photo.

    Very brave of you.

    I hope you get some one-sheets from GQ. You can mail the page to Armani with a note AND YOUR BUSINESS CARD.

    – desertwind

  66. Anonymous

    August 2, 2007 at 7:23 am

    PS — I really like the trousers he’s wearing. Sort of workman.

    – desertwind

  67. Anonymous

    August 2, 2007 at 8:00 am

    Yet again a great portrait by Mr Sart.

    Super tight t shirts are to men what mid-drift crop tops are to women. No one over the age of 24 can pull it off.

    Backstage at one his shows, he once
    aggressively grabbed a hairstylist by the wrist for not doing something he liked. The man is known for being a total control freak. Everyone in his company are instructed to call him Mr Armani.
    I don’t see how this makes someone a gentleman.

    I also find his designs b.o.r.i.n.g

  68. Tshirt Policeman

    August 2, 2007 at 8:03 am

    In resonse to: Anonymous said…

    um…the t-shirt is his signature. why would he change it now.

    I say, because it looks tacky and the Tshirt law states he should have changed it decades ago.

  69. WendyB

    August 2, 2007 at 9:22 am

    Congrats…terrific photo.

  70. Julia

    August 2, 2007 at 9:30 am

    finally! i´ve been waiting for this since u told me in april! excellent. now i know what u meant by his “aura”. thumbs up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  71. Anonymous

    August 4, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    i think what is special about the Maestro, apart from his design acumen, is that he has always been able to give of himself without giving himself away.

  72. fikira

    August 17, 2007 at 2:39 am

    THE guy

    STRONG caracter

  73. s tsui

    August 24, 2007 at 5:47 am

    this is so awesome.

  74. Marianna

    March 6, 2008 at 10:28 am

    wow, i don’t know about the rest of the people here, but there was something very moving when i read the story below the photo, maybe because it’s like a not-too-well known shared secret of a living legend… i always high respect for these ppl who will go down to the details … something people seem to do less these days, pity!

  75. The Fashington Press

    February 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Im sure you have seen this before…a blog called Catorialist, im wondering if this is yours..they have the same article on Armani but on a cat in Korea! http://thecatorialist.blogspot.com/2010/03/giorgio-armeowni-milan.html


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