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He’s the richest and most influential fashion designer of our time. But how does Giorgio Armani’s minimalist ethos translate to the world of interiors? Here, he offers an exclusive sneak preview of his new homewares collection
Armani has always been identified with minimalism, but it is minimalism with a very particular pedigree, and in his furniture he is drawing ever closer to evoking its roots: in the surface sensuality and formal inflections of Japanese and Chinese design, and in the myriad ideas and obsessions and atmospheres and materials that we identify by the word "deco". It is the world as revealed to a First Class passenger on board the Queen Mary: proto-modernism as nostalgia, as the discovery of a world of space, luxury, sensuality, discretion, subdued light, with almost no people in it.
He has had to take account of the very different ways in which people buy fashion and furniture; for while they may buy a new frock twice a year, "people don't buy a sofa every season; at most they buy two in a lifetime." So the secret of his interior work is co-ordination: producing new tables, chairs, sofas, lamps and so on that will be distinctively new, but that will also work with earlier Armani pieces in which they have already invested.