For a few decades now, via Manzoni 31 has become a legendary address in Milan. In fact this is where the commercial headquarter for the Armani Empire is based. An empire made up of diverse properties: the ultra luxurious 5 star hotel (it goes without saying), the boutique with the latest collections, the restaurant Nobu, sacred temple of high profile sushi, the Armani café, hangout for the Milanese jet-set, flower shop and chocolate shop. In such a nook of luxury so masterly constructed by the tailor from Piacenza obviously a bookstore could not be lacking. Not just any bookstore, Armani/Libri obviously.
So, after an intense trip to Cologne to visit his editor and friend Walther Koënig and having been immensely pleased with the beautiful library he had there, he decided to build one for himself at the heart of the Armani universe, in via Manzoni 31. Armani/Libri is the type of bookstore you would imagine King George would have as a private library. Minimalist but with attention to detail, intimate and modern, this bookstore represents the gotha of fashion and design literature.
A place where you almost enter on tip-toe, welcomed by relaxing background music and infinite walls of cult books of the fashion industry. In the center, a large table with enormous photograhic books picturing the timeless icons of style. But don’t be fooled by the snobbish aura of the Armani Building. You can find books and prints for every pocket here. From 5€ pocket size books, in the tenders, to limited editions ranging in the thousands. Obviously, the ones who benefit most are fashion students and professionals in fashion and design but that’s no reason for there not to be something for those who don’t eat bread and couture everyday.
Armani/Libri is also a place you can go just to be inspired by flipping through the pages of photographic albums of style divas of the past dressed in haute couture, or to discover the latest trends in furniture design, the stylist’s other big passion. This bookstore is not only synonymous of fashion and design: particularly valuable and impactful is its extensive collection of books of art, especially the contemporary ones, and field in which Walther Koënig dominates the European publishing.
The atmosphere is discrete and sophisticated. You feel free to pass from one aisle to the next, burying your nose in books by Herb Ritts or Miles Redd and feeling totally lost in the typical allure of the Italian maison. At Armani/Libri, times seems to stop, you enter without knowing what time you will leave, but with the certainty that you won’t leave empty handed.