Few designers are as skillful at managing multiple collections at varying price points as Giorgio Armani. Ever since his premier diffusion line Emporio Armani was made available here during the 1980s, it has been one of the most sparingly distributed, sold only at Emporio Armani stores of which there are still only fourteen in the United States. Now that the label's licensed accessories have been distributed more widely, and the Beckhams have drawn huge awareness to the brand's underwear, the fine people at Armani have kindly informed us that Saks Fifth Avenue will now be the first retailer to launch the main Emporio Armani men's collection in seven stores starting around now. Those locations will include Fifth Avenue, Birmingham, Cincinnati, Dallas, Indianapolis, San Diego and Tyson's Corner Virginia outside of Washington DC. This is the sort of introduction that, in our humble observation, typically leads to a storewide rollout if successful, and could possibly push a similar expansion of the ladies' line.
The thought crossed our mind that this may be some consolation for the fact that, due to tight distribution and exclusivity conflicts, Saks has few (if any) stores that are permitted to sell the top Giorgio Armani Collection for men, though the women's counterpart is sold in several of it's branches including New York. Perhaps the folks at Armani are mollifying the folks at Saks, who have surely been anxious to add the top line for quite some time now. They may ultimately be better off with an even more exclusive label at gentler, far more appealing prices. We'll call it a coup.
Emporio Armani (Official Site)
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