>> In efforts to rejuvenate his business, Giorgio Armani has entered into a multimillion-dollar partnership with Lady Gaga. The relationship is being shepherded by Armani's niece Roberta Armani, who heads up VIP relations for the company; she contacted Gaga's stylist Nicola Formichetti last November after seeing the singer perform live at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, wanting to see if Lady Gaga would consider wearing Armani for the Grammy Awards. Giorgio Armani sketched out three designs for the occasion — all of which Gaga ended up wearing.
It is unusual for Armani to design specifically for one person — brand loyalists like Cate Blanchett and Michelle Pfeiffer typically chose existing outfits from the collections — but, Roberta Armani says, "It wouldn't be possible to give Gaga a look from the collection because she wears pieces of art. It's theatrical." She adds that Lady Gaga has helped the company think younger: "A huge company like Giorgio Armani has the duty to always be alert to trends and what appeals to young people. It helped to see how the world is through Lady Gaga, the way she uses Facebook and Twitter."
Post-Grammys, Gaga reached out to Armani about her Alejandro video — she wanted tight black military-style leather suits for the male dancers; the suits not only showed up in the video, but in the Emporio Armani men's fashion show in June (the "Alejandro" video played on the runway backdrop). Armani has since dressed Lady Gaga for the MTV Video Music Awards, her appearance on American Idol, and for her "Monster Ball" concert tour. He's soon to start working on costumes for her concert in Italy in December. But the two have yet to meet.