MILAN, 4 September 2003 - In a season when many fashion houses are turning to leading Hollywood actors and actresses to star in their advertising campaigns Giorgio Armani is moving in another direction to promote the retail launch of the first autumn/winter 2003-2004 Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani Eyewear collections produced and distributed by Safilo Group, one of Italy’s leading eyewear manufacturers, under the terms of a new license signed in February 2003.

For the youth oriented Emporio Armani Eyewear collection Giorgio Armani has turned to a male and a female owl to individually model his and her styles from the new line, each featuring a comment from the wearer. The male owl remarks, “That’s what the girls like: a real head turner,” while the female says philosophically, “Daywear for night owls.”

For the signature Giorgio Armani Eyewear collection, Giorgio Armani himself has been photographed as a testimonial for the new collection, underlining the passion he has for designing eyewear, which over the last 15 years has lead the Armani Group to be one of the leading eyewear design companies in the world. Personalising the campaign further the advertising image’s accompanying text reads simply, “Eyewear from Giorgio Armani.”

Commenting on these new advertising campaigns, Giorgio Armani, President and Chief Executive of the Armani Group, said, “The fashion industry is often guilty of taking itself too seriously. It therefore seems appropriate to launch the first Safilo manufactured Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani Eyewear collections with ironic advertising campaigns, which will get noticed because they break from this tradition.”

Further breaking from tradition, the Armani Group will be investing significantly in television (MTV, Italia 1, M6 and Telecinco) and signature outdoor locations rather than just print media for the Emporio Armani Eyewear campaign. The Giorgio Armani Eyewear campaign will also be highly visible with prime positions in print media including The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Esquire, Corriera della Sera, Le Figaro, The Daily Telegraph and Suddeutsche Zeitung. The campaigns will both break in September and run through until December.

In February of this year the Armani Group announced that it had awarded Safilo Group a multi-year license for the worldwide production and distribution of its Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani Eyewear collections.

Giorgio Armani said at that time, “The Group’s overriding business philosophy has always been focused on offering distinctive collections, characterised by designs of the highest quality, that are distributed through carefully selected retail locations offering the best standards of customer service.” Armani continued, “ The decision to select Safilo as our new licensee reflects our ongoing commitment to the pursuit of these principles. Safilo has a formidable reputation within the designer eyewear sector based on the excellence of its manufacturing capabilities and on its unique understanding of appropriate distribution channels.

Through this new collaboration we will be ensuring that we can implement policies and choices, which will clearly distinguish our respective Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani eyewear collections in the marketplace. I am therefore extremely confident we are moving forward with a partner that is responsive to our strategic requirements and shares a common understanding for the future growth and development of our eyewear brands.”