Crack out the champers and sparkles: Giorgio Armani turns 80 years old today. Yes, EIGHTY! Originally a window dresser, the designer has built up one of the biggest fashion empires across the globe.
Of course, there’s his namesake mainline, but let's not forget (deep breath) Armani Exchange, Emporio Armani streetwear, underwear, a kidswear line, cosmetics as well as the breathtakingly chic and almost futuristic Armani Prive haute couture collections. There's also numerous franchise lines in department stores around the world, plus hotels, restaurants and even the Italian Olympic team uniform.
Armani had an upbringing he described as hard, growing up during the Second World War in small-town Italy near Milan. He and his siblings favourite escape route was the cinema, which fellow Italian, Valentino, also cites as his earliest inspiration. Several years studying medicine was followed by military service and then a time working in a department store. He became hooked on fashion, and went full-time, before earning his living as a freelance designer.
The Beckhams posed for Emporio Armani Underwear [Armani]
Together with friend and business partner, Sergio Galeotti he set up a menswear brand closely followed by womenswear. His designs were popular in the USA, following movie exposure, such as Richard Gere wearing Armani in American Gigolo. The 1980s were a time of brilliant growth for the company.
Since then, Armani have expanded into many other lines, from cosmetics and hotels to homewear and more. The brands have been worn on the red carpet by everyone from Kate Beckinsale and Lana Del Rey to Jodie Foster and Michelle Pfeiffer back in the day.
Lady Gaga has become part of the Armani family after the designer created her tour wardrobe for Born This Way in 2012 and who could forget the wacktacular costumes she showcased at the Grammys in 2010? More recently, Cate Blanchett has become the Number 1 A-list fan after being signed up as the face of the fragrance campaign. The actress scooped a gong at the Oscars, no less, wearing one of Armani's exquisite creations earlier this year.
Other faces of the brand have included Jamie Dornan, Megan Fox and Rihanna who collaborated on a collection of jeans - but perhaps most brilliantly, an oiled-up David and Victoria Beckham struck a pose in their pants.
So let's raise a glass to Mr Armani and toast the marvellous designer with a look back at some of our favourite Armani moments...