Armani Opens Flagship Store in Manhattan

Posted on February 19, 2009

Giorgio Armani blogged about the star-studded opening party for his flagship store in Manhattan Tuesday night. The party was scaled down a bit from his other opening parties so he wanted to make a large donation to the New York Public Schools. That was what got Caroline Kennedy to show up at the opening, no doubt. Funding for the public schools is one of her top causes.
Last night I cut the ribbon to my new store alongside Mayor Bloomberg and Caroline Kennedy using a giant pair of scissors. The store was literally finished just minutes before we held the press conference at 5 p.m.: As the journalists came up the big staircase, all of the workers were going down and out with their ladders and buckets. I told you wed make it in time! Though Ive spent the last three days meeting with many American journalists, I wanted to organize a separate press conference prior to the store party to announce my $1 million donation to the Fund for Public Schools. I told the press, and I'll tell you, how much New York means to me. The city has been a great support to me and my business throughout my career, so I thought, What better time than now to give something back?

I definitely scaled things down for this store opening, as compared with other store celebrations where we have done extravagant events and fashion shows in tandem with the opening. It just felt right to do something a bit more pared down and to funnel the extra money to charity.

Of course, we still partied. After the ribbon cutting, the Mayor and Mrs. Kennedy and I walked outside on the red carpet, which was wrapped around the store. There was a mob of photographers and flashing light bulbs and people on the street who were gathering around. Guests started flowing into the store, and pretty soon all four floors were packed with people. It was hard to move around with a TV crew and photographers following me as I tried to greet my guests, but we managed. Obviously at events like this we invite all of the journalists, editors, models and photographers from the fashion world, but there were also a lot of big personalities, like Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Leonardo di Caprio, Milla Jovovich, Alicia Keys, January Jones, Victoria Beckham, Josh Hartnett and John Mayer floating around. As well as my dear friends Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, who were the architects of the space.

Here's a video clip of the party: