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Quick armani question

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by HRHAndrew, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. HRHAndrew

    HRHAndrew Senior Member

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    A friend of mine asked me about the differences between the Black and Blue label Armani. I didn't know the answer, so I thought I ask here. Is there are quality level difference? He claims that he sees blue label items to have a higher price tag. I though maybe it was a regional thing. Anyone have the scoop?
     


  2. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Blue label Armani (Classico) items are generally more expensive than black label, but the price differences are less than between black label and Collezioni (~20%) or between black label and Emporio (~50%).
     


  3. HRHAndrew

    HRHAndrew Senior Member

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    Does the increase in price equate to an increase in quality?
     


  4. hermes

    hermes Distinguished Member

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    i've always referrend to armani black label when i reference the borgonuovo-21 line (the address of the head office in milan) which i have always understood to be just above the the blue labelled classico line when you do an armani heirarchy

    i do realize that the whole point of the classico line is to have luxurious classic pieces for sale but i thought that the borgonuovo-21 black label was still priced higher - but apparently this may not be so
     


  5. Pink22m

    Pink22m Senior Member

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    Giorgio Armani's blue label line (Classico), is generally considered the most expensive line of Armani, along with the black label line (Bourgonuovo 21). The blue label is marketed as a modern luxury line. I believe the Classico line is much newer then the black label, as the black label has been around longer. I want to say that the Classico line came out around 1996, but I am not positive. If it wasn't the Classico label that came out in 96, then it was his home furnishings line called Armani Casa. Anyways, I know both the blue and black labels are the highest priced labels of Armani, although I don't know which one is specifically higher. I am sure you will find cases where blue is higher then black and black is higher then blue. I purchased a dress shirt from his Classico label line for just shy of $400. As mentioned early, this is much higher then the Colezioni line, where the dress shirts typically run around $200. I know that Armani black label merchandise is made by Vestimenta, but I am not sure if this is the case for the blue label line.
     


  6. HRHAndrew

    HRHAndrew Senior Member

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    That is an interesting one that I never even considered. Can anyone confirm that Blue label is also made by Vestimenta?
     


  7. Zubberah

    Zubberah Senior Member

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    The difference is the price and that's the truth.  I actually emailed this question to the head of Giorgio Armani, Asia-Pacific a year ago and the response was that The Classico line is the highest Armani line and the highest priced.  The only difference is that Giorgio himself signs off on the styles and designs (they must be in keeping with Armani tradition - hence "Classico") and the Classico line is therefore attached a premium because Giorgio has given the OK for production.

    I might also add that Giorgio doesn't design any of his suits. Even Classico is licensed out to an Italian manufacturer but cannot remember the name (a subsidiary of Vestimenta I think).

    On the other hand, Giorgio the man has nothing to do with the style or direction of the Black Label and it is licensed off to suit manufacturers (Zegna/Vestimenta or someone).  

    Qualitatively, there is no difference.  Another case of paying for the name. This is not surprising given the cheaper Collezione line often comes with better fabrics than the Black and Classico line like Super 150s and 100% Cashmere suits.
     


  8. mrprlover

    mrprlover Senior Member

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    Either way...regardless of label color...it's all pricey stuff if you ask me. Though I will admit, my Black Label wool dress pants are very very comfy. The best yet.
    =]
     


  9. Pink22m

    Pink22m Senior Member

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    This discussion really begs the question about why we consider Giorgio Armani to be a fashion designer.  What does he actually design?  Is he just a businessman capitalizing on his name?  Is he actually involved in the design process of the Classico line, or does he just merely sign it off to be produced?  I once heard that he participated in designs for the Emporio line, although I am sure this is probably not true?
     


  10. HRHAndrew

    HRHAndrew Senior Member

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    I think that I fall along the lines of many who can appreciate that Armani suits do have a distinctive cut to them, which is flattering and appreciated by some.  That being said however, the one common trait that all of us who visit this board have is an appreciation for quality.  And the Classico and Black label lines are really well made garments.  I must admit I enjoy reading posts that analyze quality of labels in depth.

    Of course that doesn't answer the fashion designer question, I think much like Ralph Lauren, once you become so main stream it is hard to maintain your roots.  Joseph Abboud is a great example.  He claims to have left Ralph Lauren and started his own line because of the rapid decline of quality found accross the lines. You would think that he has a point with Ralph saying as much with the introduction of Purple Label.  But if you look at a very early Abboud suit, they were made with a canvas front with very fine detailing.  Once he became "known" Abboud started having Gruppo GFT produce his main line which is not a very high-end fused product.  I think Abboud himself realized the trap he fell in and thus started the Black Label line which is made somewhere in the US (anyone know where), with canvas front.  Interestingly they have started to produce 7 fold ties.

    After that blathering, I think we need to be careful when trying to pigeonhole designers and labels.  The sad fact is, many people would think that an Armani Classico suit and a Mani have to be the same quality as both are made by Armani.
     


  11. hermes

    hermes Distinguished Member

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    to throw more mystery into the fire, from what i have read, armani really now only designs the couture line, armani alta moda, and has design direction over classico and black label as well as the other lower lines (which means deligation in my mind)

    i've also understood that armani's main lines were manufactured by Gruppo GFT (there was that whole attempt by armani in the late 90s to buy out GFT so armani would have it's own manufacturing capacity but GFT was fighting it given something like 40% of all GFT profits came from manufacturing armani goods ..... don't know what ever came of it)

    i do recall that the armani neve (ski) and armani sport and armani golf lines are produced (or were at one time) by Simint
     


  12. HRHAndrew

    HRHAndrew Senior Member

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    What exactly does "design direction" mean?
     


  13. A Harris

    A Harris Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    GFT lost the license and it went to Zegna. That was in early 2000 if I remember correctly. As far as I know Zegna still holds it.

    All the Black Label and Classico items (many as recent as 2 seasons ago) that I have seen have been made by Vestimenta. I have never been in an Armani store though so I have no idea if Vestimenta is still producing the line.

    About the Abboud suits - all the "Black Label" suits I have seen have had a fused-front. In fact I was asking a Nordstrom salesman what justified the extra money they charge for Black Label and all they could come up with was that the fabrics were a bit nicer and the cut more "sartorial." You can do MUCH better than Abboud for the money.
     


  14. HRHAndrew

    HRHAndrew Senior Member

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    That is interesting.  If you read the little tag that is attached, it says something along the lines. "Manufactured using Italian Canvas construction."  I know it definately uses the term "canvas construction"  I wonder what they are playing at if it is indeed fused.

    Total agreement with that statement.
     


  15. GQgeek

    GQgeek Stylish Dinosaur

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    First things, first... I remember reading that Armani stepped away from designing a while ago (I don't know dates). He is back at the helm though. Obviously, when someone runs a company that big, they have a lot of responsabilities. Designing probably occupies very little, if any of his time. I would think that he decides, in broad terms, on the direction he wants to take (cut, fabrics, colors,etc.) and then delegates.

    Classico was launched a few years ago, I believe (whether or not it was in '96, I don't know). Armani Casa was launched last year.

    I thought I'd provide a slightly different perspective on armani than you typically find on this forum.

    Personally, I'm a big fan of the label. I don't really wear suits very often since I'm still in school, but for casual clothes, I love the stuff and a large portion of my wardrobe consists of it. Like a previous poster said, a lot of it comes in really nice fabrics. Not to mention that armani makes stuff that's more appealing to a younger demographic. I don't usually see anything I'd wear on a regular day in the Brioni section of harry rosen. Most (all?) pants I've seen from companies like brioni and zegna are pleated, creased, or one of the two. I prefer flat fronts, no pleats. I wear this stuff to school every day. I want to look good, not look like a preppy nerd.

    A lot of the posters on this forum (no offense, guys) are probably quite a bit older than myself, as I doubt that there are too many people in their 20s buying lobb shoes and kiton suits ;p Quite naturally, their tastes vary from mine. They're also dressing for very different environments.

    Even being a fan of the label, I would go elsewhere for suits and dress shirts. I do own an armani suit, but have since learned a lot about suit construction and it will probably be my last for quite some time. You can buy much better for the money. I know that I, for one, will probably stick to bespoke from now on.

    For my every day clothes (ie not suits) though, I think that a lot of the collezioni stuff is a good value. I'm probably going to try some bespoke pants (I want a pair of cashmere pants, but never see any) in the future, but I know for a fact that a lot of the distinctive fabrics I see when I'm looking through the armani section, won't be in the swatch books.

    With regards to the quality of the collezioni line (again casual clothes, not suits), you have to compare it to something similar. When members of this forum are talking about the quality of armani stuff, they're usually talking about suits and they're comparing the construction to that of a kiton-class suit.

    Armani collezioni fills a niche that no other company really does very well. The clothes are reasonably priced (300-400cdn per pair of pants), well-designed (whether by armani himself, or not, who cares?) and made of some very nice fabrics that you won't find elsewhere (speaking of pants in particular). They definitely can't be mistaken for ordinary clothes, yet they're always appropriate and don't really go out of style. Compared to other labels I've seen that are targetted at a younger demographic, they are better made (sometimes significantly) and they use better materials. The other labels I'm referring to include J. Lindeberg (sp?), Boss Hugo Boss (blk lbl), prada, gucci and helmut lang.

    I do own some black label and there isn't any appreciable difference in quality. Black label and Classico are kept more exclusive by raising prices and limiting distribution to Armani boutiques (and a couple of high-end department stores) in select cities. Collezioni (white label) enjoys much wider distribution.
     


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