MILAN — Giorgio Armani takes over the runways.
The designer built a relationship with FISI, the Italian Winter Sports Federation, becoming the team’s official technical outfitter for four seasons through his EA7 sportswear line under the Emporio Armani brand.
The tie-up was unveiled on Monday at Milan’s Armani/Teatro as part of a two-day event kicking off the upcoming season for the national federation with athletes in attendance already wearing sportswear from the EA7 collection.
The designer was not present at the event, but said in a statement: “The world of sports never ceases to inspire and excite me. It is animated by values that I deeply believe in: team spirit, hard work, respect and loyalty.
“This new collaboration… is another step in a direction I took years ago and which has given me a lot of satisfaction and the opportunity to deal with great athletes. Winter sports are also a wonderful playground for experimenting with style and performance while maintaining a new focus on the environment,” added Armani.
The partnership continues until the 2026 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Italy between Milan and the ski destination of Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Veneto region.
“Over the last few years, Mr. Armani has built a brand that began as an exploration of sportswear to quickly become a major player in the field,” said Giuseppe Marsocci, Deputy General Manager and Chief Commercial Officer of Giorgio Armani, at the event from Monday.
“[EA7] represents an important link between fashion and sport, the first important example of such tie-ups….We embarked on this adventure looking forward to learning something new during the journey that will take us through Milano Cortina 2026,” he added.
As reported, the Winter Olympics are expected to generate buzz, attract interest and help boost the Italian economy. They will mark the third time that Italy will host the Winter Games after the 2006 edition in Turin and the 1956 edition in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Signaling their importance, Tourism Ministry Massimo Garavaglia revealed on Monday during the Armani/Teatro event that the government is supporting the federation with €1 million a year and an additional €3 million by 2026 to build momentum around winter sports and destinations in ski resorts in the country.
Italy’s winter sports athletes are certainly already a source of pride for the country, with the federation reporting a record 2021-22 season with 155 podium wins in winter events and three breakout stars. They include Super-G skier Federica Brignone, alpine skier Sofia Godzha, who specializes in speed events such as downhill, and ski mountaineer Michele Boscacci.
Along with their teammates, the two athletes seemed excited for the upcoming 2022-23 season, which is fast approaching. FISI President Flavio Roda praised their excellent performance and resilience during the two years of the pandemic.
In a few weeks, when the winter sports tournaments begin, Italian athletes will be wearing EA7’s performance-oriented gear, including ski suits, overalls, jackets and puffers; middle layers; casual wear such as sweatpants and tops, vests, shorts and t-shirts, as well as a range of accessories and trainers.
Designed in two colours, burgundy and grey, the kit spells out ‘Ita’ on the back, flanked by three stripes in the same colors as the country’s flag – white, red and green. The EA7 team uses cutting-edge padding technology, such as Ardor7, a recycled textile blending microfibers with recycled polyester, and Stratum7, also a recycled filling made from microfibers. Both are GRS-certified.
Although this is the first time Armani has provided the team with technical kits – previously supplied by the Robe di Kappa brand – the tie-up is more of an extension of the designer’s association with winter sports.
Through its EA7 Emporio Armani line, introduced in 2004, it was already the official kit supplier of the Italian Olympic team, which wore the EA7 Emporio Armani designer kit during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics earlier this year .
His support for Italian sports teams dates back to 2012 for the London Olympics, followed by the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, in 2016 for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, in 2018 for the South Korea Winter Games and in 2020 for the Olympics in Tokyo. The designer has also already linked up with winter sports through partnerships with Italian and Swiss ski schools.