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WILL HE OR WON’T HE? The Italian press went into a tizzy after newswire Ansa reported that Giorgio Armani was planning to leave his company to a foundation, and headlines loudly proclaimed that “King Giorgio” had finally laid out plans for the future of his fashion empire.
Not so fast. An Armani spokeswoman firmly reiterated that the future of Armani is by no means decided. She said the designer will not sell to private-equity funds interested in short-term returns, nor to private investors with no understanding of fashion, but he would consider selling to a big group if a great offer were presented.
And he hasn’t ruled out the idea of a foundation. In an exclusive interview with WWD last week, Armani said the foundation was “only one of the possibilities; there is nothing substantial there,” and expressed a disinclination toward seeking a partner or selling to an investment fund. The designer was in Beijing celebrating his company’s first decade in China with a fashion show and lavish soiree called “One Night Only in Beijing.”