But while the collection was strong, it wasn’t what stole the show. That accolade rested with 18-year-old Shawn Mendes, the new face of Connected, Armani’s smart watch line. Earlier in the day Mendes had brought the city centre to a near stand still as he whipped teen fans into a frenzy while leaving the Armani hotel, and here he walked the runway to close the show, swinging his wrist in the air pointing to his new endorsement.
The appointment of Mendes, who boasts over 22 million Instagram followers, is a smart move for Emporio and further indication of the direction that luxury brands are heading in, roping in social-savvy millennials to engage new audiences in order to bolster sales. It’s a tactic that was also used yesterday at Dolce & Gabbana, though they enlisted the likes of Made in Chelsea‘s Spencer Matthews and TOWIE‘s Jake Hall in a rather odd casting choice. In the battle of millennials, it’s 1-0 to Emporio Armani.
Go backstage with Sara Cimino’s photographs below