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Armani says a white bag is a must-have next summer

COLLEEN BARRY
AP Fashion Writer

MILAN (AP) — Giorgio Armani’s fashion must-have for men next summer: A white bag.

“You cannot NOT have a white bag,” the designer told journalists backstage after his Emporio Armani menswear preview on Monday, the third day of Milan Fashion Week.

Emporio’s white bags for next summer include backpacks and hand luggage, and they are counterpointed with versions in black and black-and-white geometric patterns.

Armani seems to be onto something.

Gucci also featured a large white leather duffel bag — among an array of other colors. And U.S. department store menswear buyer, Kevin Harter of Bloomingdales, says another leather manufacturer this season was pushing white bags, saying “It will sell.”

PRESIDENTIAL FASHION ADVICE

Armani says he thinks Italian Premier Matteo Renzi is doing a good job so far, but he has a piece of fashion advice: wear a tie. The designer said Renzi’s frequent appearances in a white shirt with his sleeves rolled up project an image that doesn’t quite match his office.

When someone pointed out that Barack Obama sometimes appears without a jacket, Armani countered that Obama wears a tie. “A shirt with a tie has a slightly sexy touch.”

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FASHION

Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry took in the Emporio Armani show from the front row. Asked on his way in if he wears Armani, Perry responded, “since I could afford to.” Aerosmith plays in Milan Wednesday night, its only Italy date.

EMPORIO ARMANI GETS BACK IN LINE

Armani says he has done a whole sale cleanup of looks for his Emporio Armani collection for next spring and summer.

The black-and-white collection has a strong graphic component, with lines radiating, transmitting energy from the garment, as steady pulses, webs and waves into full black and white bold stripes. Color makes cameos in contrasting stripes of turquoise and aqua-green.

“After years of doing a little bit of everything, a melange, florals and ethnicity, finally a little cleaning,” Armani said.

The silhouette is loose and easy, with pleated trousers or drawstring athletic pants. Silk and cotton shirts loosely cling the frame, and T-shirts, worn under coats, are soft.

There are fewer sports jackets than usual and despite Armani’s advice to Renzi to wear a tie, the Emporio line, for men with a younger mindset, included no ties, but a few foulards tied snugly around the neck — a trend this season in Milan.

White shoes have graphic lines that distinguish them from traditional shoes and make them more “refined,” the designer said.

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