Foundation /

Main goals

The Gianfranco Ferré Foundation was established in February 2008, primarily 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 promoting, pursuing and carrying out 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. This task entails making an inventory of many different types of materials: photographs, sketches and drawings, film and video footage, press reviews, magazines, press releases, as well as the architect-designer’s own writings (talks, lectures, notes). All then go into the databank for easy access both on site and via web.

The database, which is continually being updated and added to, presently contains more than 65,000 items. They are organized on the basis of a straightforward and capillary system, specifically in terms of both subject matter and chronological.

The creation of an archive of this nature offers people from various domains of life the chance to examine and experience Gianfranco Ferré’s fashion work in an effective and hands-on way. 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 valuable opportunity.

The existence of a similar archive facilitates 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/or, more in general, to contemporary fashion and aesthetics.

In parallel with the activities related to the virtual database, the Foundation is responsible for the care and management of the vestimentary archive, which was recently acquired and includes about 3,000 pieces of clothing and accessories from the Gianfranco Ferré Women’s, Men’s and Haute Couture’s collections, which began to be created since the birth of the brand.

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.