Cashmere Globalism: Revisiting EMPORIO ARMANI MAGAZINE 30 Years Later

In 1988, the year Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” was released and one year before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Giorgio Armani launched Emporio Armani Magazine. An early forebear to the advertorial, the publication mapped out the borderless universe of a seductive and immersive lifestyle brand. Leafing through its catalogue, a certain kind of aura still wafts from its pages, a pre-9/11 innocence wrapped in cashmere. The magazine ran to 18 numbered editions – with titles such as “Rimini,” “Legends,” or “The Body” – until 1997 and featured editorials, lifestyle tips, interviews, and short stories. After a 20-year hiatus, Armani rebooted the magazine last fall.

Issue 15 “Cuba mi Amor.” Photo: Norman Watson

Back-issues of Emporio Armani Magazine are a roman à clef of Armani life. They break open the shell of la dolce vita, which comes to us in glimpses like the palms of a mirage. In this world, the sky is either stormy and colored like a fresh bruise, or pleasantly tinted like the glass of an ice cold Negroni. The publication chases an elusive chic, one that dashes around corners as you turn its pages. Within Emporio Armani Magazine, very little is said about the brand itself. Rather, a multitude of elements gently pulls you into a carefully crafted lifestyle vortex. Fever dreams filled with salty skin and waifs in power suits. Couples strolling home, absorbing the light of early dawn through their slouchy sweaters. Exuberant students sipping aperitivos in a dim bistro interior, the light from the walls painting their skin an iridescent Armani greige.

EA Magazine Issue 7_Rimini_photocredit Aldo Fallai (3)
Issue 07 "Rimini." Photo: Aldo Fallai
15 CUBA MI AMOR - Photo by Norman Watson
Issue 15 "Cuba mi Amor." Photo: Norman Watson
17 THE BODY - Photo by Enrique Badulescu
Issue 17 "The Body." Photo: Enrique Badulescu
EA Magazine Issue 17_The Body_Photocredit Enrique Badulescu
Issue 17 "The Body." Photo: Enrique Badulescu
EA Magazine Issue 3_Sud_photocredit Aldo Fallai
Issue 03 "Sud." Photo: Aldo Fallai
05 CINEMA - Photo by Aldo Fallai
Issue 05 "Cinema." Photo: Aldo Fallai
11 EFFETTI SPECIALI - Photo by Max Vadukul
Issue 11 "Effetti Speciali." Photo: Max Vadukul

Travel is central, of course. In particular, Europe’s identity, which Armani presents as uncertain and paradoxical. Snapshots of people are organized by country of origin, cataloguing the reach of the Armani spore. Here, Europe’s coastal geography is not a frontier, but an opening into other realms and continents. This is life on the brink of globalization – a point in time when all outcomes seem possible. Ice Cube tells us about violence in New York, and Björk demonstrates a selection of comfy knitwear. Wim Wenders explains the analogies between fashion and cinema, while Romy Schneider shows us where to party. Guides to New York, Marrakesh, and Berlin suddenly seem obligatory. One finds CD and book tips, as well as recommendations per la sera (Kumpelnest and Paris Bar are recommended for Berlin). These are the bespoke ingredients for the avant-garde’s pasticcio.

Nonchalance has always been Giorgio Armani’s greatest trait, one that he used with relish dressing the 80s and 90s. However, a laissez-faire attitude toward life is not necessarily a sign of headlessness. Sometimes, nonchalance acts as a life raft – one that even the most hardened ideologues may need to cling to, if only for an opportune mo- ment of unobserved recovery. It is within this blithe state of mind that we can rediscover the aspirations that led us to globalism in the first place. Even if we forgo the cashmere, its structure may somehow defrost and find a voice.

Emporio Armani Magazine Issue 19, “rEArranged”
is available at select Emporio Armani stores and at the Armani/Silos in Milan.

Published in

Issue #33 — Winter 2017/18BERLIN KIDZ

032c Issue 33 – Winter 2017/18 “Berlin Kidz”

How do you write in an age of anger? By using text as a weapon to deface the establishment.

This is lesson number one of this issue’s dossier BERLIN KIDZ, which follows the anonymous group of graffiti writers, videographers, and train-surfers to the highest points in the German capital. Meanwhile in New Jersey, FRANK OCEAN lives out his exile on Main Street and receives a fresh glow from PETRA COLLINS and ALEX NEEDHAM. In two 032c archeological expeditions, MARIO TESTINO explores the shores of Pompeii, while KATERINA JEBB visits BALTHUS’s Grand Chalet for an editorial posthumously narrated by a conversation between the late painter and DAVID BOWIE. We delve into the psyche (and country home) of artist JORDAN WOLFSON and escape a Parisian hospital with JACKIE NICKERSON. Writer PANKAJ MISHRA explains why embarking on modernity was such a risky project and how we ended up in an “Age of Anger.” In a chilling personal essay, CEO MATHIAS DÖPFNER recounts his travels to the Nazi Death Camps in Poland. DANIEL RICHTER and LUDWIG LUGMEIER perform a séance on Jewish exile, Al Capone bodyguard, and lost modernist JACK BILBO, whilePIERRE-ANGE CARLOTTI imagines the death metal cowboys of Botswana in Berlin. We speak with ABRA, BJARKE INGELS, TACO, and JULIANA HUXTABLE, and last but not least, KRIS VAN ASSCHE, who tells us what it means to be an Homme on the occasion of his ten year anniversary as artistic director of Dior.

Also included with the issue are sticker pages featuring designs by AMBUSH, Geoff McFetridge, J.W. Anderson, SSS World Corp, Wes Lang, and Virgil Abloh c/o OFF-WHITE.


Learn more about the issue below:

For this issue’s dossier, Thom Bettridge climbs to the rooftops of the German capital with the BERLIN KIDZ, the city’s most notorious graffiti writers, who provide us with a how-to of public vandalism. Defined by danger and illegality, their practice is a map of how writing can escape the feudal boundaries of digital society.

For her first 032c cover story, “Exile on Main Street,” PETRA COLLINS voyages with Mel Ottenberg for a weekend with FRANK OCEAN, while Guardian’s ALEX NEEDHAM pays homage to the musical enigma in his essay “The Artist is Absent.”

Jewish prince. Gangster. Political refugee. Anti-fascist soldier. Barkeeper. Lost modernist master. The story of artist JACK BILBO is a winding odyssey, told here to 032c by writer and 1970s bank robber LUDWIG LUGMEIER. On the occasion of the artist’s first exhibition in decades, painter DANIEL RICHTER and Süddeutsche Zeitung Editor PETER RICHTER discuss Käpt’n Bilbo’s legacy.

On an archeological expedition to the shores near Pompeii, MARIO TESTINO and ANASTASIA BARBIERI bring us “I TRIED TO DROWN MY SORROWS BUT THE BASTARDS LEARNED HOW TO SWIM” – an editorial accompanied by Testino’s photographs of the lost city.

For “Le Grand Chalet de Balthus,” photographer KATERINA JEBB and stylist ROBERT RABENSTEINER delve into the legacy of BALTHUS by capturing the painter’s widow Countess Setsuko Klossowska de Rola and his daughter Harumi Klossowska de Rola in their Chalet de Rossinière. The editorial is accompanied by a conversation from the 1990s between the late painter and DAVID BOWIE.

In her latest editorial for 032c, JACKIE NICKERSONescapes a Parisian hospital with Mel Ottenberg on a quest for the fountain of youth.

“NOBODY WANTED TO SEE ANYTHING.” In a chilling report, Axel Springer CEO MATHIAS DÖPFNER visits Sobibór, Bełżec, and Majdanek – three of the Nazi extermination camps in Poland – to explore how quickly ignorance slides into genocide.

Why do we live in a culture of rage? According to novelist PANKAJ MISHRA, the origins of our political quagmire can be traced all the way back to the Enlightenment. In a conversation illustrated with skate bails by photographer SAM MULLER, Mishra discusses the future and its discontents with JACK SELF.

For their editorial “8,000 miles from Gaborone,” PIERRE-ANGE CARLOTTI and Marc Goehring raid Berlin’s leather stores and re-imagine the death metal cowboys of Botswana.

“I WANT TO FEEL MORE. WHERE DO I FEEL MORE? HOW DO I FEEL MORE?” In conversation with Thom Bettridge, JORDAN WOLFSON discusses the Faustian bargains he made at Bikram yoga class and his virtual reality film that shocked the world.

Since taking over the position of artistic director at Dior Homme in 2007, KRIS VAN ASSCHE has taken a consistent approach to men’s fashion at a time when the concept of menswear itself has been under siege. JINA KHAYYER sits down with the designer at Dior HQ in Paris and talks about his dedication to tailoring, opinions on macho-chauvinism, and his penchant for flowers.

In the “SSENSE Files,” we bring you scenes of cross-platform madness, including stories with ALEX OLSON, ABRA, BJARKE INGELS, DOUGLAS COUPLAND and TORSO, JULIANA HUXTABLE, and TACO.

In our “BERLIN REVIEW” section dedicated to our favorite books of the season, we limbo through the past and present: from tracing NASA’s graphic identity to dissecting the cashmere globalism of EMPORIO ARMANI MAGAZINE to studying the 1000-year history of PISSING in art to wandering through Korea’s Demilitarized Zone.

This issue’s SOCIÉTÉ de 032c first brings us to Seoul, where Korean rockstars HYUKOH take five to read the magazine in front of thousands of fans. We then fly over to Moscow to stretch before our pas de deux with prima ballerina POLINA SEMIONOVA, and make our way to Stockholm for a city tour with EYTYS co-founders Max Schiller and Jonathan Hirschfeld. After a detour with Gucci to check out the recently opened Zeitz MOCAA and catch up with its founder JOCHEN ZEITZ, we head home to Berlin to visit ANA RAJCEVIC and her animal masks at her atelier.

All this and more on 288 pages!