Gianfranco FerrÃ© (Italian pronunciation:Â [dÊ'anËfraÅko feËrÉ]) (15 August 1944 â" 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.
Early life and education
Born in Legnano, Italy, he received a degree in architecture in 1969 at the Politecnico di Milano university.
FerrÃ© 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, 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. FerrÃ© 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 FerrÃ© would end his engagement with Dior with the Spring 1997 collection for the label.
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.
FerrÃ© 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. FerrÃ© had a lakeside home in Lake Maggiore, near Milan.
- Gianfranco FerrÃ©: The main line for men, women and children
- FerrÃ©: previously known as the White Label, more practical, ready-to-wear for both men, women. Within this line, there are FerrÃ© Red (for plus size) and FerrÃ© Fur. For FerrÃ© men there is also FerrÃ© Underwear.
- GF FerrÃ©: The younger, more sporty line, for men, women
- Gianfranco FerrÃ© Fragrances
- Ferre Milano - casual line for woman and men
FerrÃ© won a number of prestigious awards including the L'Occhio d'Oro during his career:
- 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)
The Gianfranco FerrÃ© S.p.A. is the holding company that coordinates the fashion business of the FerrÃ© label. It was owned by Gianfranco FerrÃ© (Creative Director) and Franco Mattioli (Chief Financial Officer) in equal shares until it was sold to IT Holdings in March 2002. Recently, FerrÃ© announced that the group plans to become listed at the Milan stock exchange. In order to prepare for this movement FerrÃ© 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. FerrÃ© 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. FerrÃ©'s 14 licences contributed 58% to total sales in 1994. In 1996, total sales were already at 1250 billion Lira ($811 million).
70% of FerrÃ© 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 FerrÃ© Jeans business in the US seems to shift the focus here. The Studio .0001 by FerrÃ© line, produced by Italian garment manufacturer Marzotto, is basically targeted at the US market.
FerrÃ© distributes in 17 exclusive boutiques worldwide (1994) and has over 250 sales points in total.
Though no longer under production, the Studio .0001 and Forma O were produced by Marzotto, one of the biggest Italian garment manufacturers. The sportswear collections Oaks by FerrÃ© and Ferrejeans used to be manufactured by Italiana Manifatture S.p.A., but FerrÃ© contracted those lines for the next ten years to Ittiere, who also furnish the bride 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.
Most of the external licenses were eliminated in 2003, leaving only the Gianfranco Ferre mainline, Ferre diffusion, and GF Ferre younger/activewear labels.
FerrÃ© died on June 17, 2007. The previous Friday, he had suffered a massive brain hemorrhage. FerrÃ© was hospitalized at the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, where he was pronounced dead a few days later.
- Official Website
- Gianfranco FerrÃ© at the Fashion Model Directory
- Gianfranco FerrÃ© and the Architecture of Design, New York Observer