Giorgio Armani is no stranger to sports. Between creating the uniforms for the Italian Olympic team in Rio this August and purchasing Italian basketball team Olympia Milano in 2004, he has been a strong advocate for the values and commitment that comes with athleticism. This is highlighted in his recent photo exhibition opening today entitled “Emotions of the Athletic Body,” featuring photos dating between 1985 and the present. It also features works by Aldo Fallai alongside pictures selected by Armani himself that feature athletes he has commissioned previously over the years.
“I have always been a sports fan, ever since I was a boy, I suppose it was the excitement and spectacle that attracted me, but over the years I have come to understand that there is something more profound at play here. Sport is a way to bring people together, it is a social activity,” said Armani. “It is also something that promotes the ideal of dedication and expertise — it shows what human beings are capable of when they work hard to perfect a particular skill and talent. And then, speaking as a fashion designer, there is the simple fact that sportsmen and women are extraordinary from a physical point of view — their bodies are at the peak of their development, and this is fascinating for someone who works with the human form.”
Armani has also stated his love for the ritual of sports as well. “In fact, since ancient times, sport has been a byword for top physical prowess and spectacular athletic performance,” he stated. “Sports encourage the qualities that, in my opinion, help improve a person: commitment, sacrifice, tenacity and willpower. It’s good for the body and soul because it shows that without commitment, there is no success. This is why I always gladly collaborate with athletes. Their muscular build is always a challenge for a designer, but my clothing’s softness and comfort, which are central aspects of my stylistic vision, allow it to effortlessly adapt to various physical builds.”
The exhibition will support the Special Olympics, as other Armani events have in the past, and is being held in the Silos building, which underwent a large renovation overseen by Armani himself and was unveiled in April 2015. Being opened privately today and to the public from tomorrow until November 27th, Giorgio Armani hopes there “will be many exhibitions where we give over our space to great work by creative people.”