Identities in Print: Emporio Armani 1981 – 2021

“I like tactile quality. The rendering of the image on paper, with subtle imperfections that add to its charm.”

– Giorgio Armani

In addition to its iconic fashions, Emporio Armani is known for its contributions to print media and visual culture. Since the 1980s, the brand’s signature communications style, developed on unforgettable billboards in Milan and through the imagery and voice of Emporio Armani Magazine, have been pillars in the construction of its strong identity. With “Identities in Print,” 032c salutes this legacy and its importance as a case study in brand-building. Shot on location at the 032c Workshop and nearby Potsdamer Platz in central Berlin, the project celebrates Emporio Armani’s 40th anniversary by exploring the brand’s incredible archive of visual messaging, remixing it in a new city for the contemporary moment.

Photographer: Octavia Buergel
Stylist: Lawrie Abei
Clothing: Emporio Armani

For “Identities in Print,” 032c studied vintage Emporio Armani Magazine covers and spreads, then re-cast them, riffing on their signature approach while paying homage to the shoots that best capture the brand’s seminal campaigns and communications. New looks find their way into retrograde shots, new talent inhabits an updated backdrop of 21st century Berlin. Taking on the rich history of Emporio Armani’s approach to text and image, we embrace a media tradition while considering its present and future, all through the cultural lens of 032c: a magazine and ready-to-wear brand built on exploring the full spectrum of potential at the intersection of fashion and publishing.

“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.”

– Eva Kelley, “Cashmere Globalism"

“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. … This is life on the brink of globalization – a point in time when all outcomes seem possible.”

– Eva Kelly, "Cashmere Globalism"

“Identities in Print” reflects on the print legacy of Emporio Armani in a time when Zoom has rendered the arc of globalization nearly complete. Traveling back to an era of city-hopping – and bringing Berlin to the brand’s digital followers, wherever they are – photographs taken in the German capital channel the atmosphere of Emporio Armani Magazine, and bring the brand’s classic iconography to Instagram via the #EAsince1981 hashtag.

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