When you own several homes around the world, plus a stunning 65-metre yacht, as Giorgio Armani does, finding days throughout the year to spend at each of those residences can be challenging — especially for an in-demand, workaholic fashion magnate. Yet no matter how stretched he gets, Armani always manages to make time to escape to his pistachio-shuttered stucco house in the leafy hills above Saint Tropez, just a short stroll from the Mediterranean’s turquoise waters.
“I go four or five weekends in late June and July,” says the designer, who carves out his time in Saint Tropez with his usual exactitude including walks and workouts followed by either lunch at home or visiting the scenery, champagne-soaked Cinquante Cinq beach club. Late afternoons are spent winding around the charming Place des Lices open-air market.
Anchoring the dining room is a vintage table from Milan; the chairs and metal vases are by Armani/Casa, and the large photograph displayed on the wall is by a local artist.
Armani purchased the property in 1996 and initially did only modest updates to the dwelling, which he believes was built in the late 19th century. Though he has hired celebrated architects such as Peter Marino and Massimiliano Fuksas for his stores and for some of his residences, he takes pride in personally overseeing the interiors of many of his homes, including this one. “I like to do my own things,” Armani says. “I don’t have anything against architects, but if you can design yourself, it’s better.”
Immediately following a health scare in 2009, he undertook an ambitious renovation, which involved adding guest quarters and a swimming pool and creating a glass-enclosed loggia along the back of the house. “I got out of the hospital, and in the arc of about four days the plans were all done, in every detail,” he says. “It was a big stimulation for me. I did the St Moritz house at the same time. But I think that’s enough, no? Otherwise, every time I have a headache, I’ll design a new palazzo!”
Cotton sheers are elegantly swagged across the glass ceiling of the loggia.
Though he left the traditional facade and Portuguese tile roof intact, Armani redid the interior walls with the same blond-hued Saint Maximin limestone that lines his Giorgio Armani boutique in Milan. He also installed polished floors and beamed ceilings of dark African teak. The rooms here have a decidedly sleek, Asian-tropical feel that’s in keeping with the aesthetics of a designer whose name is synonymous with a minimalist style deeply influenced by the Far East.
Warm neutral Armani/Casa fabrics were used for the living room’s curtains, ottomans and sofa, which is accented with Provençal pillows in muted pinks and greys. The floors and beamed ceiling are made of dark African teak.
Softening the spaces is an array of colourful pillows and traditional carpets. Silk wall coverings sheathe the bedrooms.
The living room’s ceiling, bookcases and floor are made of polished African teak; the cocktail table, which conceals a pop-up television, was custom-designed by the Armani/Casa team, while the leather club chairs and large floor cushions were acquired in Saint Tropez.
Armani sits on a vintage armchair in the entrance hall, next to a framed Chinese tapestry. The lamps are vintage Armani/Casa, and the walls are clad in Saint Maximin limestone.