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What is Armani Exchange?

If you are at all into fashion, you will have heard of Armani Exchange. But while this is a hugely popular brand, it is also one that brings about a lot of confusion. With a name like Armani, one might instantly think that this is an offshoot of the globally successful Armani empire, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But while Armani Exchange is under the Armani brand, it is also a brand in its own right.

Update Your Fashion and Lifestyle with Armani Exchange
Update Your Fashion and Lifestyle with Armani Exchange

Sounds confusing, right? But it isn’t. Armani Exchange is the result of high customer demand for modern, trendy fashion that is affordable and will stand the test of time. While Armani itself was founded in 1975, it wasn’t for another 16 years that Armani Exchange would make its way into the limelight. Moreover, it has only been in recent years that the brand has reached the peak of its success.

Whether you are looking to source some stunning Armani exchange clothing or have an interest in the range of accessories and watches made by the brand, you’re in the right place. Let’s discover everything there is to know about this luxury brand.

An Introduction To Armani Exchange

For anyone that is interested in buying Armani Exchange goods, you may want to know a little bit about who you are buying from. This brand has a rich history that began back when Giorgio Armani founded his company of the same name back in the 1970s.

Who Owns Armani Exchange?

Giorgio Armani was born in Italy in 1934 and while he is now in his 80s, this powerhouse of a man is still actively involved with his empire and is the sole owner of his company, Armani. Armani owns Armani Exchange as well as his other brand under the same umbrella, Emporio Armani.

Mr Armani is a multi billionaire who has seen incredible success in the luxury goods sector with his company being one of the most notable luxury leather goods suppliers in the world. While the company only began in 1975, it has made one of the biggest impacts on the fashion industry that we have ever seen.

Is Armani Exchange The Same As Armani?

One of the most asked questions about Armani Exchange is whether it is the same as Armani. It is important to keep in mind that Armani Exchange is not the same as its parent company, Armani. While the two are owned by the same man and run under a similar name, Armani is a much more high-end luxurious brand where Armani Exchange is a more affordable brand yet one that boasts equally high quality.

Armani targets all areas of the fashion market and is a fashion brand in its own right. On the other hand, Armani Exchange is geared more towards youthful personalities such as teenagers as well as those who demand a fashion forward, modern product.

Latest and Modern Fashion Makes Change Your Trend
Armani Exchange designs are fashion foward

Many of the items from the main Armani collection are designed by or have some involvement from the guy at the top; Giorgio Armani. In contrast, the clothes and accessories like Armani Exchange watches and purses are not designed by Mr Armani but rather a team of reputable designers employed by the company.

But it doesn’t end there. As well as the hugely successful main Armani collection and the Armani Exchange brand, the company also operates under a third sub-company; Emporio Armani. If this wasn’t confusing enough, there used to be a further three branches to the Armani tree; Armani Jeans, Armani Collezioni and Armani Prive. Of course, consumers were in a muddle over what was so just a few years ago, in 2017, some serious changes were made to how the company operated.

That left us with the three main branches:

  • Armani is the parent company and offers high-end luxury goods including clothing, handbags, wallets, shoes, watches, and fragrance. These products cannot merely be sourced in a regular high street store and are sold in both Armani and independent boutiques as well as online.
  • Emporio Armani largely took over the Armani Jeans section of the company and can also be recognized as EA7. While these products don’t quite have the exclusiveness of the main brand, they are somewhere between luxury and accessible.
  • Armani Exchange, the beloved sub-company and the newest addition to the brand, is, as we have learned, aimed at fashion conscious, youthful people who want the ability to purchase Armani goods from regular stores and without the eye-watering price tag of the main collection. When the company narrowed down its ranges, Armani Exchange took over much of the Armani Collezioni as well as Armani Prive.

A History Of Armani And The Birth Of Armani Exchange

Armani is a fashion house which was founded by designer and entrepreneur Giorgio Armani. Giorgio Armani was born in Piacenza in Italy in 1934. He had a modest childhood and spent his days attending the local school along with his brother and sister. After completing school, Armani went on to study medicine which is a far cry from the fashion industry which would see him have huge success.

Giorgio Armani did not take any interest in fashion until he reached his mid 20s when he dropped out of medical school in order to take a job as a merchandiser in a department store called Rinascente. Here, his love of fashion began and he saw it as his mission to break into the fashion world and make a name for himself.

However, there was a hard slog ahead and Armani would need to work under some of the greatest names in fashion at the time before he would be in a position to open his own fashion house. After leaving his job at the department store, Giorgio pushed on and started working for Nino Cerruti as one of the main fashion designers in the relatively new fashion house.

Of course, with a passion for his own designs, it was only natural that Giorgio Armani would then go on to work for himself. He began by working as a freelance fashion designer which gave him the opportunity to experiment with his designs. This led to the creation of the Armani ‘style’ that we know and love today.

Men with Armani Exchange Accessories
Men with Armani Exchange Accessories

But after some years, Armani decided that it was time to take things to the next level and create his own line of clothing. Far from the extensive Armani collections we see today, back in 1975, the new company Giorgio Armani S.p.A launched a single line of men’s and women’s clothing. While Giorgio was the face and name of the business, he did have a silent partner called Sergio Galeotti who would be with him for this exciting journey.

Little did Giorgio know that his fashion line would gain so much success that just a few years down the line, Armani would be one of the most prized and luxurious brands in the world. In fact, after just 16 years of producing fashion items, the company was able to expand and Armani Exchange was born.

By the time that AX was launched, the company had more than 200 boutiques around the globe so it wasn’t difficult to get the products out there. However, since these stores were usually frequented by the higher-end client, Armani needed a way to allow young, up and coming fashion lovers to access his new range. For this reason, Armani Exchange clothing, bags, shoes, and watches are widely available on other platforms.

One of the world’s most successful fashion retailers, ASOS, has taken the world by storm and this is a prime example of where AX clothing and accessories can be purchased by anyone with an internet connection and a credit card.

The Success Of Armani

One of the reasons that Armani became such a successful brand was because of how it changed the world of fashion. In the 1980s, Armani clothing quickly became a luxurious staple in the wardrobes of many professional women. Where they may once have dressed in heavily patterned florals, they were now wearing tailored, chic Armani suits.

But aside from having impeccable design abilities and a great knowledge of style, Armani was, and still is, an incredible businessman. In order for his company to thrive, he knew that it would take much more than just designing a few nice outfits and sourcing high quality materials. No, Armani knew that he needed to take the helm and guide his team to success. And this is what he did. At no point in history has Giorgio shied away from decision making and has been the most important cog in the Armani wheel.

Armani wheel
Armani wheel

It is hardly surprising then, that at the launch of the Armani Exchange range, so many people were eager to get their hands on this affordable range from one of the world’s most respected designers. And it isn’t just fashion and accessories that Armani has extended out to. Over the years, the company has begun designing homeware and even boasts its own hotel; The Armani Hotel, located in the world’s tallest building; the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It would seem that there isn’t much that Mr Armani is incapable of and we don’t doubt that the Armani Exchange brand will continue to go from strength to strength!

Is Armani Exchange Designer?

When we call something a designer brand, we are referring to a very specific type of product. The term designer is thrown around in a light-hearted manner but not all things that are called ‘designer’ actually are.

There are a lot of definitions of designer brands online but the most fitting is as follow:

‘A brand which is luxurious, exclusive, and where fashion is concerned, is considered to be haute couture.’

Moreover, designer brands are typically named after the designer. After all, these high-end collections are usually designed by one person who has a vision to create beautiful and unique apparel. The key with designer fashion is understanding the looks you can expect from certain brands. For example, if you think of Dior, you think of French nautical style whereas Armani is more clean cut suits and Chanel is feminine tailoring. The list goes on.

So, if Armani is considered to be a designer brand then surely that means that Armani Exchange is credited with the same luxurious title? Unfortunately, this is not the case. While Armani Exchange does share some traits with its parent company, since the clothes and watches are not designed by Giorgio himself, nor are they in the same league as the main collection, it cannot be hailed as designer.

Again, it is imperative that we point out that just because Armani Exchange isn’t classed as designer in the same sense as Armani, YSL, Vivienne Westwood and so forth, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a high-quality and reputable brand.

Is Armani Exchange Expensive?

If you have ever shopped at Armani, you will know that some of their most high-end products come in at an astonishing cost. To get your hands on the latest Armani handbag, you could be looking in the region of $2000-$3000 or even more. But this price is well worth it since the items are usually handmade and many of the clothing items are made to measure.

For example, if you were to purchase a suit from Armani, you could pay thousands just for the jacket. But the clear difference in craftsmanship and the quality of the materials demonstrates why these prized fashion items cost as much as they do. Moreover, you have to keep in mind that you will always pay more for a piece that displays a reputable brand on the label. That’s just the way it is. For some, it is a status symbol, whereas others feel that the Armani name is a mark of quality and have no qualms in forking out for it.

Armani Exchange luxury products
Armani Exchange luxury products

But for many of us, these luxury products are just a little out of our price range. When it comes to Armani Exchange, you may be pleasantly surprised at how affordably the collections are. Let’s look at the range of Armani Exchange watches, for example. You can easily get your hands on one of these stunning timepieces for under $200.

OK, you could be forgiven for thinking that the quality wouldn’t be quite as good, but this is a common misconception. Unlike the intricate, handmade designs of the main collection, Armani Exchange watches are on a more mass produced level but the materials that are used and the stylish designs that are packed with features are more than acceptable for what you will pay.

One of the main reasons that Armani branched out and created the Armani Exchange brand was to appeal to a younger, more fashion forward society. With high street stores selling clothing and accessories that are so disposable, they cost less than $10, in some cases, it is clear that the youth of today want accessible, affordable products.

If Armani wants to appeal to this niche then it is essential that they create fashion, watches, bags, and other products that can be purchased on payday without any guilt. Now, that isn’t to say that Armani Exchange is a ‘cheap’ brand because it isn’t. You will still expect to pay a fair price for what you are getting but compared to its parent brand, you’d probably say you were getting a bargain.

What Does Armani Exchange Make?

The great thing about Armani Exchange is that the brand offers a huge selection of products that are geared towards an audience that wants fast-fashion and to the minute trends. Even more so, their target market, which ranges from late teen years through to people in their mid-thirties, may not have the financial freedom to purchase items from the main collection.

As a result of this, the company needed to come up with similar items, catchy branding and of course, some pretty impressive marketing. Many of the Armani Exchange marketing campaigns are known for their sexy, vibrant, and provocative appeal. This demonstrates that this master company knows how to reach its audiences.

Whether you are looking for the latest pair of sunglasses to make you stand out from the crowd, a statement pair of jeans of the best quality, or a striking timepiece to adorn your wrist, Armani Exchange has a vast collection.

Armani Exchange collection
Armani Exchange collection

Clothing is one of the most sought after and successful parts of the brand with things like heavily branded T-shirts and sweatshirts being very popular. In modern culture, people like to show off the brand they are wearing and these simple yet prominent designs quickly captured attention. But they aren garish and this is what makes the brand so successful.

What’s more, Armani Exchange makes a great range of coats and jackets as well as dresses for that special occasion. There are trousers and jeans which are very popular and well made.

As well as clothing, Armani Exchange has found massive success in shoes and accessories. For the modern woman looking to obtain a designer handbag, some of the prices of the more luxurious brands can be a few months salary. However, Armani Exchange bags and purses are much more affordable and yet are made with high-quality materials and are designed to be right on trend.

But one of the most popular accessories is the Armani Exchange watch. The brand boasts a huge collection of watches that are affordable and yet have the appearance of something far more high end. From simple everyday wristwatches to complex sports watches with a host of features, the collection is extensive.


Dating back to 1975, Armani is now a well established brand but owing to the high cost of its luxurious products, not everyone is able to get their hands on the goods. But this is an issue that was directly addressed by the company in the early 1990s and as such, their street style brand Armani Exchange was born.

With a collection spanning a range of items including dresses, jeans, bags, sneakers, and even beautiful watches, Armani Exchange has done what many thought to be impossible: bringing designer fashion to the high street!