cover image Being Armani: A Biography

Being Armani: A Biography

Renata Molho. Baldini Castoldi Dalai Editore, $26.95 (236pp) ISBN 978-88-6073-296-5

Before he became an icon, fashion designer Georgio Armani grew up in a middle-class family and studied medicine, falling into fashion largely by chance: ""In my beginnings, there was no fire in the belly for fashion. I really didn't want to do fashion at all,"" he says. In this honest, insightful biography, Italian fashion critic (and former contributor to Italian GQ and Vogue) Molho follows Armani from his childhood in Piacenza, Italy during WWII, through his induction into the industry, the challenges of establishing Emperio Armani S.p.A. in 1975, to ultimate success and fame. Although Armani's accomplishments bring him a luxury lifestyle, his early years are wrenching, as is the 1985 death of his beloved partner, Sergio Galeotti, a loss that nearly took him back to square one. Throughout, Molho poignantly illustrates the balance between Armani's obsession with work (where he's a self-described ""tyrant"") and his private life as a kind, introverted man who wishes he were less shy. Molho may leave readers wanting more personal details, but the glimpses he digs up are telling, as in Armani's open exchange with Eric Clapton from a 1995 GQ interview. 64 pages color photos.