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Giorgio Armani Is Restructuring His Fashion Empire

Italian designer Giorgio Armani earlier this month after his Giorgio Armani Prive fashion show during Paris fashion week for fall/winter 2019/2020. Italian designer Giorgio Armani earlier this month after his Giorgio Armani Prive fashion show during Paris fashion week for fall/winter 2019/2020.
Italian designer Giorgio Armani earlier this month after his Giorgio Armani Prive fashion show during Paris fashion week for fall/winter 2019/2020. Estrop/Getty Images

Designer Giorgio Armani, the sole shareholder of his eponymous, 41-year-old Italian fashion house, is streamlining the far-reaching company, in reaction to sales falling for a third year.

Revenue dropped 8% at constant exchange rates to 2.1 billion euros ($2.3 billion) in 2018, Armani said in a statement Friday. Net profit slipped by more than half as the company increased spending and licensing income declined.

Armani is forecasting a return to growth next year, after regrouping its various sub-brands under three main lines—a process that will see mid-price department-store labels like Armani Jeans and Armani Collezioni phased out. Net cash rose to 1.3 billion euros ($1.45 billion), meaning the company has significant resources to invest in relaunching the brand.

After missing a wave of surging luxury demand in China that’s boosted the fortunes of French haute couture rivals like LVMH and Kering, Armani parted ways with general manager Livio Proli in March, replacing him with two internal hires.

Armani, 85, remains at the helm of the company he founded in 1978, as chief executive officer and creative director.

Even as revenues declined since 2016, he’s continued to tack on new projects to expand his brand’s reach: In 2019 alone he began building a suite of luxury apartments above his New York City flagship store, staged his first destination runway show in Tokyo, and clinched a deal to provide uniforms for the Italian national soccer team.

In addition to the sales of top-end fashions and homeware at Giorgio Armani, mid-priced Emporio Armani and streetwear at A/X Armani Exchange, the company receives license fees for eyewear produced by EssilorLuxottica SA and fragrances and make-up from L’Oreal SA-owned Armani Beauty.

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