Giorgio Armani extends designer touch to new mobile

MILAN Fri Oct 9, 2009 11:40am EDT

1 of 3. A woman holds an Armani mobile phone during a product launch in Milan October 9, 2009. Italian fashion house Giorgio Armani presented a new 700-euro ($1,032) mobile phone on Friday, a stylish device aimed at complementing the designer's suits.

Credit: Reuters/Paolo Bona

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian fashion house Giorgio Armani presented a new 700-euro ($1,032) mobile phone on Friday, a stylish device aimed at complementing the designer's suits.

Founding designer Giorgio Armani, widely regarded as the doyen of Italian fashion, made a brief public appearance at the launch of the Armani-Samsung smartphone, which also has the new Microsoft software for mobiles.

Micorsoft Corp introduced Windows Mobile 6.5 this week, which allows phones to play music, open Word and Excel documents and be synchronized over the Internet.

The sleek phone has both a touch screen and a key pad. It also includes a video player and GPS navigation, as well as bronze detailing "which coordinates perfectly with Giorgio Armani suits," according to a statement.

Armani, 75, did not speak at the presentation, only posing for photographs, but said in the statement he sought to create a phone "perfect for today's managers."

Armani, who suffered a bout of hepatitis this year, announced three senior management changes in late September, signaling an easing of his workload.

Armani, known for his classically elegant lines and muted colors in clothes, said last month he was reshuffling his agenda to take better care of himself after the illness.

The smartphone is the third phone Armani has designed for South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, wearing a tie signed by Armani, said the phone was "a statement of style" and his company was not looking to work with other designers, adding this partnership with Samsung and Armani was "a unique thing."

(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian, editing by Paul Casciato)

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