Armani reopens global store network, with new security measures and special appointments
Giorgio Armani has reopened around one hundred boutiques in his global retail network on Monday, May 18, with added security measures, a new system of booking appointments; also, he will open Armani Silos this week.
The Armani Group termed the measures "Phase 2" – after the global lockdown – and promised that the boutique re-openings would be done “in full compliance with regulations laid down by the authorities,” as part of its overall efforts to “focus on guaranteeing maximum safety for its employees and customers.”
In a global rollout, Armani reopened flagships in such major fashion destinations as Milan, Paris, Munich, Beijing, Hong Kong and Sydney. All told, almost one hundred Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani stores will be back in business worldwide.
The Italian designer has also converted his iconic billboard on central Milan on via Broletto, probably the most famous fashion signage in Italy, into an image honoring Italian healthcare workers.
Starting today, the billboard will feature an image of a lady doctor with angelic wings holding Italy in her arms – a symbol of the fight against Coronavirus. Drawn by artist Franco Rivolli, the billboard carries Armani's own words of encouragement: “To restart safely we still need her”. The image is also to be published on the Group's social media networks.
Last week, 85-year old Armani sent an open letter to Italian newspapers thanking all the nation’s health workers for their strenuous work throughout the crisis. This weekend, Armani also changed the illumination of his Armani Ginza Tower façade in Tokyo, converting its bamboo motif into a graphic mix of dark Oxford blue with Azure motifs. In Japan, the color blue is used to express gratitude to people working in the medical industry fighting against the Covid-19.
Back in February, Armani called off his last scheduled live runway show, on the final day of the Italian women’s ready-to-wear catwalk season in Milan, and instead held a live stream show behind closed doors. A move which was criticized by some at the time as lacking in commitment, but which, in hindsight, appears to have been extremely prescient. Since the lockdown began, Armani is understood to be in quarantine near the seaside in Tuscany.
As noted, the designer will not participate in the new virtual menswear runway season the Camera della Moda is planning to stage in mid-July. But he is currently planning to stage a joint menswear and womenswear catwalk show in the second half of September, in Milan, during the next live runway season in the Italian fashion capital.
On the occasion of the general store reopening, the Armani Group also announced that 10% of the proceeds from sales of the Spring/Summer 2020 collections will be donated to charities operating in their respective cities.
“Production of disposable medical overalls also continues and is to be transferred from factories owned in Trento, Carrè, Matelica and Settimo Torinese —that have restarted work for the Group’s fashion collections— to those of sub-suppliers in Italy and other countries,” the fashion group added.
In a release, the designer stressed that all re-openings will respect “regulatory provisions of each country, in order to ensure maximum protection of the health and safety of the public and of its workforce… with duly trained staff.”
The group also unveiled a new Book an appointment service, where customers can book appointments directly online. The service became active worldwide this weekend for Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani stores, and from 3 June for A|X Armani Exchange stores.
And, in line with growing numbers of restaurants in France and Italy, Emporio Armani Caffè e Ristorante and Nobu Milano, located in the designer’s largest Milan flagship, are providing special menus for the delivery service until a full reopening is permitted. In Italy, the designer’s chic café chain in Italy has extended the offering with takeaway and home delivery options, including breakfasts and light lunches. Over in New York, the Armani café on Fifth Avenue last week began offering takeaway and delivery too.
Finally, the designer also plans to reopen his iconic museum and art space Armani Silos in south Milan later this week, another step in the careful reawakening after the two-month lockdown.
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