Giorgio Armani: ‘Japan always keeps its soul’

The fashion supremo on how a simple table sparked his love for Japanese design I loved how spare those tables looked, the restraint and grace. What I find so particularly interesting is the sense of calm that pervades all things Japanese. On top of that, I am struck by how in Japan modernity mingles seamlessly with history. The Japanese manage to convey the sense that they are able to look both backwards to tradition and forwards to the unknown future with equal ease. This is quite a cultural accomplishment. In 1981 my interest for the Japanese aesthetic, fuelled by a steady diet of Kurosawa, of old and new, went full-blown in one of my most iconic collections an epic commercial …

Virgil Abloh: the red-hot renaissance man shaking up fashion

Virgil Abloh is fashions hottest designer. We meet the man whose orange brick has people queuing round the block On an early summers evening on the outskirts of Basel a city almost certainly in Switzerland, but sometimes in France and occasionally Germany hundreds of well-heeled men and women stand in line, giddily, champagne flutes in hand, waiting to buy a 140 brick. It is, naturally, no ordinary brick. Its flag-down-a-passing-aircraft orange, and prominently branded in an edition of just 999. But, crucially, the brick or ceramic block as its parents have christened it has been designed by Virgil Abloh, a 38-year-old from Chicago, in conjunction with the timeless Swiss furniture company GQLouis Vuittons first African-American artistic director, and a rare …