Giorgio Armani’s enduring passion for sailing and yacht design
MILAN — Giorgio Armani sees many similarities between designing a bespoke luxury dress and a yacht, admitting that at one point he ‘risked becoming a boat designer’ as he enjoyed furnishing and creating his two yachts personal, the Mariù and the principal.
His passion for the sea and luxury yachts continued unabated, and in April he revealed he would be the new title sponsor of the 15th edition of the YCCS (Yacht Club Costa Smeralda) Superyacht Regatta, which will be held from May 31 to June 4. on the waters off the Sardinian Costa Smeralda, the Emerald Coast, known for its fine sandy beaches and beautiful clear sea. The regatta is restricted to superyachts with a minimum length of 90 feet and multihulls of at least 50 feet.
Last year it partnered with The Italian Sea Group to design a one-of-a-kind motor yacht and even invested in the yachting specialist, which operates the production-focused Admiral and Tecnomar brands. of yachts and high technology. motorboats, respectively, which went public on the Italian Stock Exchange in 2021.
Here, Armani talks about the freedom he feels while sailing, the pleasure of enjoying blue waters as far as the eye can see, and the different experiences his beach houses in Pantelleria, the island in the Strait of Sicily, and Antigua can offer. to bring.
WWD: When did you start to appreciate and love the sea? What do you love most about life at sea or on the water?
Giorgio Armani: I have always been passionate about the sea. I discovered it as a child, at a time very different from today, and this passion was built up in adulthood. At the time, swimming was what seemed magical to me, then I discovered that living on a boat is experiencing the true magic of the sea. It is a real reversal of perspectives: the earth appears distant as well as the minutiae that often characterize it. You can breathe in a feeling of absolute freedom and a connection with nature that is truly unbeatable, total. The immense blue, as far as the eye can see, is a representation of the infinite possibilities of life.
WWD: Can you tell us about an episode related to Main or one of your sailing trips?
GEORGIA: Every sailing trip is memorable. Sure, there have been adventurous times, including sudden storms and the hardships they bring, but these are inevitable downsides of life on a boat. Once you overcome them, you have fun and feel invigorated. What I find unforgettable, each time, is the experience in the blue of the sea: even through the courses, everything always appears different.
WWD: Why did you choose to support the YCCS Superyacht Regatta, in particular?
GEORGIA: The Italian seas offer marvelous and exciting panoramic views; our islands, large and small, are unique. I like the Costa Smeralda a lot and I find that this regatta is also a way to appreciate its beauty, from the sea, with another look.
WWD: What kind of seascape do you prefer? I know you have a home in Pantelleria and the Caribbean. How did you choose these places and these houses?
GEORGIA: The sea is my element and the islands represent my idea of strength and independence. Pantelleria, suspended between Sicily and [the continent of] Africa, a cultural crossroads, was the first I discovered. I fell in love with it at first sight, although continuing to love the island takes time and dedication. The acquisition of a series of small dammusi, the typical local buildings, transformed into a small property. Here, the feeling of being surrounded by the sea is constant. Antigua is a more recent discovery, but there too I was immediately fascinated. The house overlooks the ocean and a small private beach. The island is infinitely bigger than Pantelleria, and it’s totally different. It’s hard to put into words, but the Caribbean landscape has an absolute magical light and in the background one perceives the titanic immensity of the ocean. As for the Costa Smeralda, it struck me precisely because of the emerald green color of the sea. The first time I saw it, arriving by boat, I thought the name was perfect to describe the ‘place. In addition to the color of the sea, I have always admired its centuries-old culture, its sometimes lush, sometimes rugged landscapes. I also appreciate his cuisine, so rich in flavors.
WWD: You have also designed yachts. How did you manage these projects? What do you like to see in a yacht in terms of style and comfort, colors and ambiance?
GEORGIA: The sea and design are my two great passions. I approach the design of a yacht by thinking of a domestic environment, in motion. This means that I adapt my rarefied sense of space, my preference for precious materials and neutral colors to function, taking advantage of artisanal craftsmanship. It’s a very subtle exercise in design and editing that captivates me. It is precisely for this reason that I started a collaboration with TISG [The Italian Sea Group], through which I extend my conception of interior design to the nautical world, where, as in fashion, aesthetics and function come together in a natural and elegant style. A project that allows me to create personalized atmospheres with Armani/Casa — like with tailor-made clothes with the same artisanal attention to the choice of materials and manufacturing.