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Critical Shopping

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Like the pyramids, Armani's Fifth Avenue flagship stands as a monument to a guy who can do whatever the hell he wants. The now tragically biweekly Critical Shopper is back with a study of the massive four-floor landmark that houses all the various Armani brands, plus a restaurant and a "gigantic fantasy staircase that puts both Vegas and the sun to shame." It might seem like folly to build such a crazy place during the economic dark times, and even Mr. Armani himself says he doesn't expect it to be pay for itself in under 20 to 25 years. But as Cintra Wilson observes, "In 25 years, Mr. Armani will be 100 years old. Profit, one suspects, was not his motive." [NYT]