Last week Giorgio Armani’s superyacht Main featured in our rubric Best Celebrity Yachts, and now, we bring you an interview og Giorgio Armani on board of his superyacht, where the acclaimed fashion designer reveals his feelings and ideas for the yacht and on board of the yacht.
When I am on board Maìn I make sure that I forget all about work commitments. This helps me recharge my batteries and come back to Milan happy to start work again full of enthusiasm,” says Giorgio Armani.
A glance at his diary this summer reveals just how much recharging is needed. In the space of five weeks earlier this summer, he hosted a giant fashion spectacular in China, ‘One Night Only in Beijing’. Featuring a catwalk show that presented the world of Armani to 1,000 guests, it was an international display of brand power. Three weeks later he was presenting the new S/S13 menswear collections for his Mainline and Emporio brands to the international buyers and press in Milan, and the following week he was in Paris showcasing his exclusive Giorgio Armani Privé line to the likes of Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale and Avatar’s Zoe Saldana at the haute couture collections.
Armani masterminds a slickly organised empire (in 2011 the group’s total turnover reached €6.731 billion at retail value), but that doesn’t alleviate the pressure of constantly having to promote his vision to his global clientele. Understandably, at 78, Armani seeks refuge each summer away from the critical eye of the fashion world somewhere in the Mediterranean, and for that he uses his 65-metre Codecasa Maìn.
Although he has houses around the world, Maìn is his biggest indulgence by far. It is all down to his love of the sea. “Ever since I went to the beach resorts for the first time when I was four or five years old I have loved the water,” he says. “I still remember how the feeling of the smooth, cool sand under my feet filled me with joy as evening came. I have loved the sea ever since, and I still love and respect it greatly.”
The Mediterranean remains his favourite cruising ground. He calls it ‘Mare Nostrum’. “It’s a safe sea, it’s our sea,” he says. “After all, we live on the Mediterranean shores, and it’s a sea that allows you to go to uncontaminated places such as the Aeolian Islands.” Where would he like to explore? “Many places, such as the Azores, and along the coast of Africa, but my holidays are never long enough.” In the winter, however he does take Maìn to the Caribbean. “Maìn is my private refuge,” he says. Although he hosted a soirée for 100 guests during the Cannes film festival a couple of years ago, he admits that he doesn’t enjoy big, crowded parties on board. “But I do like spending time with well-chosen friends and guests with whom I have a lot in common,” he adds.
Slicing through the waves, with its tapering bow stretching forward over the water, angular lines and unusual dark-green colour, Armani’s yacht has the imposing profile of a lean-and-mean war machine rather than a plump and jolly pleasure cruiser. Yet it is the perfect expression of the designer’s rigorous eye and highly tuned aesthetic. He designed the whole yacht, from the hull to the interiors, which took 30 months to build at the Codecasa shipyard and was delivered in June 2008. Having spent the past 37 years living to work, he feels he can rationalise this indulgence now.
He explains that he wanted a bold, compact image for the boat, “not weighed down by that dazzling white enamel that can be seen from far away, making you exclaim, ‘There’s so-and-so’s boat’”. Exhibitionism is not his style, and Maìn is much more subtle. Dressing the yacht in green he saw as a way of camouflaging it. His fashion designer’s eye for colour observed how the sea “is rarely what we call sea-blue; it is most often green or dark blue or turquoise. Green camouflages the boat with the sea, so that it does not stand out too much”.