Today’s birthday boy is Richard Gere.
I remember first becoming acquainted with the work of Cancer designer Giorgio Armani when “American Gigolo” became a hit in 1980. It was about the same time that I began to take an interest in fashion. I didn’t really understand how Armani was changing the way clothing was designed, but I did know he was doing things differently than the designers before him.
Take this jacket worn by Gere, for example. The lack of internal structure gave the garment a slouchy appearance quite unlike the previous decade’s double-knit polyester jackets. Paired with the loose trousers, it was the look that was going to inspire a whole new era of fashion.
Nevertheless, the concept of this look represents the Virgo aesthetic far more than the Cancer style. In the years following Armani’s big breakthrough, his classic tailoring became his hallmark rather than his occasional jaunts into conceptual fashion. Tom Cruise, his fellow Cancer, became the celebrity normally associated with the label.
So I’m going to give some credit here to Gere. I wonder if the look would have become such a phenomenon on the back of a different actor? I don’t think so.