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On Armani’s Supplement Overdose and Succession Predicament

Armani, now supplement-free, shot for <em>WSJ.</em> magazine.
Armani, now supplement-free, shot for WSJ. magazine. Photo: From left: Paul Wetherell, Douglas Friedman/Trunk Archive

You may recall that Giorgio Armani came down with a really bad case of hepatitis back in 2009. In the latest issue of WSJ. magazine, he clarifies that he didn’t get the condition the usual way (by a virus), but — far more mysteriously — because he was taking too many “supplements” every morning before going to the gym. His doctor ordered him to stop, and he recovered. According to WSJ., “Armani won’t say exactly what he was taking, only that the substance poisoned his liver.”

Anyway, he’s all better now, thank goodness! Now he just has to worry about what’ll happen to his company when he does eventually cede leadership. And yes, he frets about this all the time: “when I wake up in the morning and when I go to sleep at night,” he says. He has so aggressively maintained control of his label throughout his career, even driving out employees who have butted heads with him, that he doesn’t have any qualified successors in the wings. (He does have several family members helping at high levels within the company.) Now he shows “a hint of remorse” that he didn’t partner with LVMH, an idea that was floated at one point. “Today the two companies together would be really something,” he says, implying that it’s too late now.

On Armani’s Supplement Overdose and Succession