Armani fall collection comes to Fashion Island

Editor's note: This corrects the subhead.

NEWPORT BEACH — About 50 customers gathered Monday to see Roberta Armani's special presentation of Giorgio Armani's fall 2010 collection for his namesake line at Neiman Marcus, Fashion Island.

The niece of Giorgio Armani and manager of VIP relations Roberta Armani was looking forward to meeting her Newport Beach shoppers.

"I hear today we'll have many loyal customers. Neiman Marcus is like family with Armani," she said. "I've been honored to travel to the great department stores in Seattle and San Francisco. I got to see the different atmospheres and how the women in California dress, and I look forward to seeing the Orange County girl, how she interprets the Armani look."

Patrons of the store sipped champagne as they watched the presentation for the new season. This event is one of many at the store, which allows shoppers to become familiar with their favorite designers in a one-on-one experience, such as private runway presentations, trunk shows and appearances.

On Tuesday, the famed shoe designer Manolo Blahnik will make a personal appearance, and on Oct. 15 Rachel Roy will show off her fall 2010 collection in a fashion show.

Neiman Marcus General Manager Ariela Shani said the store's patrons are loyal to the famed Italian designer.

"We have a very strong customer base for Armani. Our customers love Giorgio Armani," she said. "We have something for everyone."

The presentation, which lasted about 30 minutes, boasted an array of looks for the season, from suits and separates to cocktail and evening wear. Menswear also made an appearance, as a male model strutted the catwalk in a navy velvet blazer.

Armani's niece believes Orange County shoppers will appreciate the new collection because they have a distinct approach to style.

"I think (Orange County women) are freer in spirit," Roberta Armani said. "California is great because it is very vibrant. Women here are freer to express their styles."

The event culminated with a private luncheon, and then a viewing of the looks in the store's Armani boutique, with Roberta Armani on hand to answer questions about the fall collection.

Elizabeth Hanson, a resident of Newport Beach, thought the show went well.

"It was very nice. I must say the fashions all look much better on the tall, slender young women," she said with a laugh.

Shani was impressed by the turnout and by Armani's looks.

"I think the show was beautiful," Shani said. "Giorgio Armani, his lines and his designs are just brilliant."

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