Armani admonishes fashion world

Dec. 5, 2003 at 4:41 PM

PARIS, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Giorgio Armani, at a Paris conference Thursday, criticized the fashion world's great couture houses for their drive to employ "star designers."

Emphasizing celebrity, he told the International Herald Tribune's annual conference in Paris, discouraged loyalty and brand continuity. "Our industry is obsessed with the idea that to be successful, you need highly paid geniuses."

Armani, the key speaker, said, "I have people who have been with me for 25 years -- not highly paid geniuses who move from one company to another leaving no trace behind them."

Admitting he could not run his $2 billion company indefinitely, the 69-year-old Armani proposed conglomerate LVMH, an international producer and marketer of luxury goods which numbers among its 54 companies Christian Lacroix, Givenchy and Donna Karan, should consider his enterprise.

"I'm no longer 20," he said for anyone "to still be in command as a designer at 85 seems absurd. On the creative side, I have people working with me whom I have trained, who will be able to carry on my work brilliantly."

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