ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Roberta Armani

Would it be intimidating to grow up in the shadow of greatness? Not for Roberta Armani, niece to the famed Italian designer by the name of Giorgio, who can claim some greatness of her own. As director for the luxury label, she oversees global public relations projects, particularly in dealing with the entertainment industry. This would explain her close connection with Academy Award-winner Leonardo DiCaprio. Most recently DiCaprio has lent his talents to Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island, along with Patricia Clarkson, Sir Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo and Emily Mortimer. Giorgio Armani hosted the exclusive cocktail party before the premiere of the film during New York Fashion Week at the Armani Ristorante at the Fifth Avenue boutique. Prior to that, Armani dressed the cast for the world premiere at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival, where both DiCaprio and Scorsese were dressed in black Armani suits for the red carpet. He has a well-known respect for Hollywood with many new collaborations with costume designers on the drawing boards.

But hey, this isn’t all about movie premieres. The real scoop here is that I was fortunate enough to sit down for a few minutes with Roberta at her recent personal appearance at Neiman Marcus Union Square.

She often represents her uncle at signature events, and on Wednesday, March 10, I found her to be not only the pinnacle of Italian sophistication, but equally as delightful, warm, and approachable.

Haute Living: Your uncle’s designs are very classic and timeless, how do you select the celebrities who best represent the brand?

Roberta Armani: Yes, they are [classic and timeless], but also modern with an edge. Certain celebrities lend themselves to the brand, understand the brand, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Katie Holmes, George Clooney. They are people who do not want to shock you, but be remembered. An example of that edge was when my uncle dressed Lady Gaga in a custom-made gown for the Grammys, for which they worked very closely together. It was different, but still Armani.

HL: What part will social media play for consumer awareness?

RA: Traditional media outlets are still important, but we recognize social media is also very important for Armani and are active on Facebook and Twitter.

HL: As the ambassador for the Georgio Armani brand, is there anything you would like us to know that is exciting for 2010?

RA: Yes. We are very excited about the first Armani Hotel to open in Dubai on April 11, 2010 at Burj Dubai.

HL: Can you share what the interior will look like?

RA: It will be forward thinking, but classic Armani.

Shelley Gordon, Candy Cravens, Roberta Armani, Karen Caldwell

Check the Haute Living events page for more photos from Roberta Armani’s exclusive designer appearance at Neiman Marucs Union Square.

Pictured at top of page: Neiman Marcus General Manager John Capizzi and Roberta Armani.

Photos courtesy of Drew Altizer