One of Italy's most successful fashion moguls got his start in the trenches of the industry, working as a window dresser for a department store. Giorgio Armani launched his eponymous company in 1975 and rocketed to mass acclaim when Richard Gere modeled his suits on the silver screen as the suave and sophisticated American Gigolo. In the 1980s, Armani introduced his best-known design element, the soft shoulder, on his famed suits, adding an air of comfort and modernism to the overly rigid jacket. Armani is a household name today, and his sculpted and sparkly gowns make regular appearances on the red carpet. The designer recently partnered with pop star Lady Gaga to create the elaborate costumes she wore on tour. But his influence extends beyond clothes. The Armani moniker is seen not only on tags and inserts; hotels, perfume and watches also bear his name.
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