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The Gianfranco Ferré Foundation was established in February 2008 with the aim of preserving, organizing and making available to the public – first and foremost in digital archive form – the patrimony of materials that document the designer’s professional activity. It also has the goal of carrying out, promoting, pursuing and promoting projects that relate to the Gianfranco Ferré philosophy and culture of design, to the maestro’s unique idea of fashion and exquisite aesthetic sensitivity.

The Foundation’s first objective is the creation of an archive/museum that houses everything saved and kept during the span of Gianfranco Ferré’s career: more than 150,000 documents and artworks, completely inventoried, including about 22,000 sketches and technical drawings and 40,000 photos; 3,000 clothes and accessories; objects belonging to the designer’s collections; more than 1,600 bound volumes per year sector magazines from 1970 to 2007 and finally videos, press reviews, writings, lessons and notes by the stylist.

The greatest part of this heritage, over 100,000 files, is included in a data base with a coherent and capillary system, in terms of subject matter and chronological, both in the headquarters and online. The creation of an archive of this nature offers people from various domains of life the chance to experience directly Gianfranco Ferré’s fashion work.

Students, scholars, professionals – anyone with a concrete connection to and/or interest in the fields of modern fashion and pure design – may want to take advantage of this opportunity.

The existence of a similar archive makes possible a wide range of initiatives: publication of books on specific subjetcs, organization of exhibitions, educational activities for young people, promotion of in-depth study programs in cooperation with universities and other educational institutions, hosting of talks, on-site visits, as well as participation in conferences or events and meetings focused on topics connected to Gianfranco Ferré’s work and, more in general, to contemporary fashion and aesthetics.



The Foundation and the city of Milan

Every Foundation endeavor envisions the city of Milan in the role of ideal partner. The Foundation has its headquarters in Milan and, all while being open to the entire world, it wants to enjoy a give-and-take relationship expressly with this city.

Even during his Paris years at Christian Dior Gianfranco Ferré always worked in Milan. And it is here where he found the stimulating milieu and home-base for his profession.

Also, although Milan is an international fashion hub it has no precise museum able to provide direct knowledge of the full sphere of products, working processes, innovations, aesthetic models, customs and practices having to do with clothes. With its Archive, the Ferré Foundation gives the city the chance to benefit from an (important) part of what could have been its fashion museum.

At the same time, it puts its artistic patrimony and wealth of initiatives at the disposal of Milan-based educational institutions with solid fashion programs: from the universities offering undergraduate and master’s degrees in the subject (Polytechnic, Catholic, Bocconi, IULM), to other university-level schools like the European Institute of Design (IED) and the Domus Academy, all the way to the professional training courses organized by the Province of Milan and by the Region of Lombardy.

The Foundation has also begun pursuing projects with various associations in the sector, so as to examine the links between the art of fashion design and the concreteness of the clothing industry (an interrelation particularly important in the case of Gianfranco Ferré) and thereby gain a better and deeper understanding of the same.

In collaboration with and in view of the above, the Foundation is already planning and executing specific educational activities, conducting research on topics of mutual interest, hosting seminars, workshops and round-tables.

The Foundation thus aims to become a distinct point of reference. It could serve as a think tank on topics having to do with various aspects of the sector, with the cultural changes that involve/influence the universe of fashion and style.