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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 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.

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.

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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
   
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