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Tuesday, March 4, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Armani is first to get star on fashion 'Walk of Style'

Los Angeles Times

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Hollywood celebrities have their Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard. Soon, fashion superstars will have a sidewalk of their own. The address, naturally, will be Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

Giorgio Armani will be the first recipient of the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style award in a ceremony March 19, for his contribution to fashion and entertainment.

Armani, 68, has many Hollywood credits, starting with the wardrobe he provided for Richard Gere in the 1980 film "American Gigolo."

The Milan-based designer singlehandedly toned down the glitz of the red carpet when Jodie Foster in 1989 and Michelle Pfeiffer in 1990 wore his understated gowns to the Oscars.

For last year's ceremony, he dressed Russell Crowe, among others. "His clothes fit men; they're not for the boys," Crowe once said. "He makes clothes that are classic and for men with deep voices." (Not to mention deep pockets.)

In 2000, New York's Guggenheim Museum presented "Giorgio Armani," its first costume show. (It was controversial: The museum had accepted a gift of a reported $15 million from the designer's company shortly after scheduling the show.)

The city of Beverly Hills and the Rodeo Drive Association created the Walk of Style, which will feature bronze plaques embedded in the sidewalk, as part of an $18 million enhancement of the area known as Beverly Hills' Golden Triangle.

At the ceremony, which Armani plans to attend, "Torso," a 14-foot-tall sculpture by Robert Graham, will be unveiled. The sculpture will stand at the intersection of Rodeo Drive and Dayton Way.

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