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Gianfranco Ferré
Born 15 August 1944
Died 17 June 2007 (aged 62)
Milan, Italy
Nationality Italy
Education Politecnico di Milano
Labels Gianfranco Ferré, Ferré, GF Ferré
Awards Occhio d'Oro (6 times), De d'Or, Commendatore del Ordine

Gianfranco Ferré (15 August 1944 – 17 June 2007) was a fashion designer also known as "the architect of fashion" for his background and his original attitude toward creating fashion design.

Born in Legnano, Italy, he received a degree in architecture in 1969 at the Politecnico di Milano university. Ferré began his fashion career in 1970 by designing accessories, then worked as a raincoat designer in 1972-74. He started his own company Baila in 1974 [1] and launched his signature collection for women in 1978. His first men's collection appeared in 1982, followed in 1986 by his first couture collection in Rome.

Ferré became Stylistic Director of Christian Dior in Paris in 1989, when he was chosen by owner Bernard Arnault to replace Marc Bohan. In 1996, it was announced that Ferré would end his engagement with Dior with the Spring 1997 collection for the label. [2]

His own label is more relaxed and pared-down than Dior. Sophisticated white shirts have become the symbol of his personal signature in fashion design.

Ferré appeared to be extremely critical of trends and fashion gimmicks. He dealt with his demanding schedule, being responsible for a French top fashion brand and his own Italian label, by commuting between Milan and Paris in his private plane. Ferré had a lakeside home in Lake Maggiore, near Milan.

Eva Riccobono was one of his favourite supermodels for catwalks and advertisements and Matteo Ceccarini his best sound designer.


Product lines

  • Gianfranco Ferré: The main line for men, women
  • Ferré: previously known as the White Label, more practical, ready-to-wear for both men, women. Within this line, there are Ferré Red (for plus size) and Ferré Fur. For Ferré men there is also Ferré Underwear.
  • GF Ferré: The younger, more sporty line, for men, women
  • Gianfranco Ferré Fragrances[3]


Ferré won a number of prestigious awards including the L'Occhio d'Oro during his career [4]

  • Occhio d'Oro Award (six times) for Best Italian Designer
  • Gold Medal from the City of Milan
  • Commendatore del Ordine decoration from the President of the Italian Republic
  • De d'Or (Golden Thimble Award) for his first Dior haute couture collection (1989)

Economic data



The Gianfranco Ferré S.p.A. is the holding company that coordinates the fashion business of the Ferré label. It was owned by Gianfranco Ferré (Creative Director) and Franco Mattioli (Chief Financial Officer) in equal shares until it was sold to IT Holdings in March 2002. Recently, Ferré announced that the group plans to become listed at the Milan stock exchange. In order to prepare for this movement Ferré started to rearrange the holding significantly. First step was the recruitment of experienced management personnel under the guide of Giuseppe Cipriano. Next step is the reduction of the number of subsidiaries from today 21 to four or five in the future. Another move is the acquisition of the apparel producer Dei Mattioli, which is owned by Franco Mattioli. Ferré also seems to be interested in acquiring some of his contractors, in order to have more control over the production.


The company achieved total sales of 950 billion Lira ($589 million) in 1994, an increase of 15% over 1993, which had shown enjoyed a similar increase over 1992 sales. Ferré's 14 licences contributed 58% to total sales in 1994. In 1996, total sales were already at 1250 billion Lira ($811 million).


70% of Ferré sales are achieved in export, where the US appears to be the biggest market with growing importance. Italy still holds 20% of the sales, but the success of the Ferré Jeans business in the US seems to shift the focus here. The Studio .0001 by Ferré line, produced by Italian garment manufacturer Marzotto, is basically targeted at the US market.


Ferré distributes in 17 exclusive boutiques worldwide (1994) and has over 250 sales points in total.


Studio .0001 and Forma O is produced by Marzotto, one of the biggest Italian garment manufacturers. The sportswear collections Oaks by Ferré and Ferrejeans used to be manufactured by Italiana Manifatture S.p.A., but recently Ferré contracted those lines for the next ten years to Ittiere, who also furnish the bridge collections of Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, and others. The range of licenced products is wide, including shoes, stationery, luggage, home furnishings, and perfumes. The latest addition to this list is the license given to the Swiss watch manufacturer Swatch.

Real Estate

On June 25 of 2008 real estate and the world of high fashion established a new precedent in the world of modern architectural splendour when Gianfranco Ferré entered into a worldwide joint venture with Dubai-based GIO Developments, part of Galadari Investment Office (GIO) in Milan today. An exclusive development deal was signed naming GIO Developments the worldwide partner for all Gianfranco Ferré real estate projects. GIO Developments is fully responsible for real estate, construction, management and operations, whilst Gianfranco Ferré will oversee all aspects of content, design and style. The first project of the "Gianfranco Ferré for GIO" joint venture will be erected in Dubai and named Gianfranco Ferré Stresa. It will go on stream combining residential, commercial and hospitality spaces so that the mixed-use development will complement itself. The project is worth more than USD$1.2 billion and is packaged to introduce the world to genuine 'concrete couture', according to industry experts.


Ferré died on June 17, 2007. The previous Friday, he had suffered a massive brain hemorrhage. Ferré was hospitalized at the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, where he was pronounced dead a few days later.


Sources and links


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