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July 11, 2005
Rugged Elegant 2006 Best Products: Giorgio Armani Prive Couture Clothing, Mercedes-Benz Car & Bianchi Bicycle


On July 6th 2005, the couture shows began in Paris. For the second time, world-renowned Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani was in France to share his latest haute couture collection called Prive.

While his first collection was everything his fans hoped it would be, Armani's autumn/winter 2005- 2006 collection of animal prints, satin and velvet was even more extensive and alluring.

At the end of the show, Mr. Armani revealed a custom-designed bicycle made by Bianchi, the Italian high-performance bicycle manufacturer.

In addition, in another area of Paris last week, Giorgio Armani's custom Mercedes-Benz CLK car was showcased at the Paris Auto Show.

Three "rugged elegant" best products of 2006 and it's only July!

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Giorgio.Armani.July.2005.jpg Giorgio Armani, July 2005 in Paris

Armani Haute Couture Fashion

Last week, Giorgio Armani joined Versace and Emanuel Ungaro in showing off their couture collections in Paris.

The one American couturier, Ralph Rucci, chose to forfeit his place on the calendar in favor of showing off his latest designs in New York this September. Rucci will show his couture line at the same time as his spring/summer 2006 ready-to-wear collection is presented. While Rucci intends to return to Paris, this year he has a showroom in New York to show off, as well as his fashion designs.

Fans like Hollywood actresses Michelle Pfeifer, Annette Bening, Cate Blanchett, Beyonce Knowles, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonardo Di Caprio, Clint Eastwood, Clive Owen, Sean Penn, John Travolta, Adam Sandler, Al Pacino and Martin Scorsese, and great voices like Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows, have new reason to show off their love for Armani.

Celebrity clients expected at Armani's second couture show, (those who are shown the collection separately from the press), included Kate Capshaw, Claudia Cardinale, Matt Dillon, Elizabeth Hurley, Lady Helen Taylor, Tina Turner, Rita Wilson and fabulous French actresses, Virginie Ledoyen, Emmanuelle Beart and Eloide Bouchez.


While Armani likely has his dedicated clients in mind when he designs his haute couture collection, he said after showing his second couture line in a custom-made show space in the 16th arrondissement, "The one thing I wanted was to be true to myself."

Last Wednesday's show for the fall-winter 2005-06 season included signature velvet and satin evening wear, as well as daywear.

Clients like Michelle Pfeiffer can be seen regularly wearing Armani couture, as well as his ready-to-wear lines available in his own boutique in Milan, New York and San Francisco and Hong Kong, as well as the high-end department stores like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Jackets come with shawl collars. His skirts are fitted. As are all Armani trousers, this line is also beautifully cut.

Colors include: white, soft rose, Armani's signature black, nickel and caramel.

Animal prints including ecru crocodile hide add mystery and sexiness to his clean lines.

The new couture designs are simple and luxurious -- just the way his clients like them.

One of our favorite designers, who turned 71 today, has been in the fashion business for three decades. Like a fine wine, Mr. Armani's creations only improve with age.

Armani Haute Couture Cars Designed by Mercedes

In the fall of 2003, Mercedes-Benz and Giorgio Armani announced a joint venture, which marries a Mercedes-Benz CLK 500 Cabriolet show car with interior and exterior design accents inspired by Armani.

Last Monday, at the international motor show in Paris, Armani and the Stuttgart, Germany-based car maker revealed the new "Mercedes-Benz CLK designo by Giorgio Armani."

The idea for the collaboration was first inspired by the successful start of Mercedes-Benz’s sponsorship of a five-city world tour of the Solomon R. Guggenheim’s Giorgio Armani -- A Retrospective exhibition.

The tour began at Berlin's Neue Nationalgalerie in May 2003. After its stay in London, the exhibit then opened its doors in the Mori Arts Center Gallery in Tokyo Japan from April until June 5th.

Subsequently the exhibition is moving on to Shanghai China.

Mercedes' designo range has been around for ten years. The designo range allows the carmaker's discerning customers to personalize their Mercedes-Benz using a selection of exclusive material and paint finish options.


Only 100 units of the Mercedes-Benz CLK designo by Giorgio Armani are available worldwide.

Sign me up!

This exclusive special-edition vehicle is "Rugged Elegance" at its best -- with a capital "R," "E." Or should I say, "G," "A!" Even the maestro himself drives one of his own signature cars.

Take Your Senses on A Voyage of Discovery

Armani's signatures touches this year, as reported on include:

High-Quality Material

Giorgio Armani has brought his own, characteristic style of timeless elegance to the Cabriolet. The entire exterior is painted in designo magno sabbia, a matt sandy shade with subtle greenish tints typical of Armani.

This paint finish, developed by Mercedes-Benz designo, powerfully emphasizes the otherwise unchanged contours of the CLK-Class Cabriolet.

You could say that Giorgio Armani´s contribution was to fashion an elegant summer outfit for the vehicle.


High-tech Material Meets Classic Leather

Giorgio Armani has skillfully coordinated the interior with the exterior, employing classic brown designo leather for the trim and the centre console.

He has created a striking effect by combining the brown leather with high-tech materials from the world of sportswear in the shade "sabbia".

Finely perforated leather also covers the steering wheel.

And all metal parts in the interior have a matt-chromed finish rather than the high-sheen finish found on other models, giving these parts what the designer describes as an "aged look".

Exclusive Standard Equipment

In technical terms, the limited-edition model is based on the CLK 500 Cabriolet ELEGANCE.

It not only features high-quality technology and exciting body styling but also offers the pure pleasure of open-top driving plus top-class comfort for four.

The new model has been even further upgraded with AMG bodystyling elements, including dynamic front and rear aprons and striking side skirts.

Standard Equipment

Standard equipment in Armani's new, exclusive open-top Mercedes-Benz is the THERMOTRONIC luxury automatic climate control system with solar sensor, ESP with BAS, an audio 20 radio with CD drive, electrically adjustable seats with memory function, speed-sensitive steering, a rain sensor for the windscreen wipers and cruise control with SPEEDTRONIC, DIRECT CONTROL suspension, belt tensioners, an EASY-ENTRY system, automatic belt feeders and automatic headlamps.

Standard-Fitted Extras

Standard-fitted extras include: PARKTRONIC (PTS), a Harman/Kardon surround-sound system with ten speakers and an 8 x 40 watt amplifier, heated seats, AMG-styling inclusive 18" AMG wheels, rear sidebags, designo leather appointments and designo magno sabbia metallic paintwork.

Mercedes.06.Armani.designo.jpg Mercedes CLK500 2006, Armani designo

The luxury car comes with a "limited-edition" certificate of authenticity.

Perhaps Daimler-Chrysler could negotiate with Mr. Armani to throw in one of his haute couture evening gowns, so that we have the opportunity to wear Armani on the inside and out.

The Ultimate iPod Accessory ... A Mercedes-Benz

A bonus feature of investing in a Mercedes is the complete "plug and play" integration with your Apple iPod digital sound system.

Mercedes is the first to offer full-integration of your iPod into a vehicle's audio and information system. When we saw and heard it in action at the MacWorld Conference in San Francisco this January, we drooled.

Just open your glove box, connect your iPod to Mercedes' docking interface, and your iPod's menu of up to 10,000 songs is instantly accessible from your steering wheel.

Mercedes' dashboard multifunction display seamlessly adopts iPod's title navigation.

You and your car look good, and sound good too!

For more information about Mercedes' iPod integration, test drive their Interface Kit at:

The 'Mercedes-Benz CLK designo by Giorgio Armani' is priced at $100,000 or 86,884 euro.

In America, the 2006 CLK500 Cabriolet's MSRP is $63,075.

The CLK-Class was honored with the 2005 Residual Value Award by the Automotive Lease Guide ( for having the highest projected residual value in the Luxury Segment.


Armani Haute Couture Bicycles by Bianchi

Armani works out every morning, loves playing football and owns a basketball team. Now he has designed his own Emporio Armani bicycle, which made its debut on the menswear catwalk last week.

Produced by Bianchi, it will go on sale in December.

Bianchi is an Italian high-performance bicycle manufacturer with over a 100 years of racing triumphs.

About Giorgio Armani SpA

Giorgio Armani S.p.A. is an Italian fashion company founded in 1974 by Giorgio Armani and Sergio Galeotti with a starting capital of $10,000, which they got from selling their Volkswagen. They started in 1974 with a men's line followed by a women's line in 1975.

The company designs and manufactures product in several categories including fashion accessories, apparel, cosmetics, fragrances, home interiors, jewelry, eyewear and watches under several labels including Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, Mani, A/X: Armani Exchange, Gio' and Acqua Di Gio'.

Armani today employs approximately 4,700 employees. They have 13 factories around the world. The Company has retail stores in 36 countries stores around the world including 58 Giorgio Armani boutiques, 12 Armani Collezioni stores, 121 Emporio Armani stores, 68 A/X Armani Exchange stores, 11 AJ / Armani Jeans stores, 6 Armani Junior stores, 1 Giorgio Armani Accessories store and 14 Armani Casa stores.

Armani is also planning together with EMAAR Properties PJSC to launch a chain of luxury hotels and resorts in several big cities including London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Dubai and Milan.

For further inspiration in English, Italian or Japanese go to:

Happy 71st Birthday, Mr. Armani!

Inspire & Be Inspired.

Here's to healthy, adventuresome, soulful, "world-class tailor, car and bicycle designs" living!

~ Jennifer Carolyn King, Rugged Elegance, LLC

Posted by jck at July 11, 2005 12:30 PM

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