Giorgio Armani was a “complete donkey” at school

The fashion designer struggled with concentration in the classroom as he was not suited to studying. His focus was on earning a wage to support his family and he had no desire to become a global style phenomenon. The Italian designer believes it was simply a series of circumstances that led him down the path to success.

“At school, I was a complete donkey,” Giorgio told the British edition of Elle magazine. “There was never a sacred fire! I needed money because my family did not live in the best circumstances and I felt the need to help out.”

Giorgio worked in a department store in Milan for six years which was his first taste of becoming the fabric connoisseur he is today. What drove him through these early years was his tough mother, who kept him in line as best she could. Now the silver haired style supremo owns nine homes and two yachts, but he says things were very different when he was growing up.

“My mother would have been top management today,” Giorgio remembers. “We had food, but it was horrendous food.”

The fashion bigwig owns 100 percent of his company Giorgio Armani SpA, which makes his personal fortune an estimated $7 billion.

It wasn’t an easy rise to riches. The 78-year-old has given up things associated with a normal life to pursue his dreams since starting his label in 1975.

“I have sacrificed life,” Giorgio said. “The life of a young man when I first started out and the life of a grown man at the age I am now.”