Gianfranco Ferré /

The Ferré Foundation

The Gianfranco Ferré Foundation was established in 2008 with the aim of preserving, organizing and making available to the public – first and foremost in the form of a virtual archive – everything that documents the designer’s creative activity, through the promotion of initiatives related to Gianfranco Ferré’s philosophy, his design culture, his conception of fashion and aesthetics.

The Foundation’s activities have led first and foremost to the establishment of an archive/museum housing everything that has been preserved about Gianfranco Ferré’s work: more than 150,000 documents and artifacts, completely inventoried, including 22,000 sketches and technical drawings and 40,000 photos; 3,600 garments and accessories; objects belonging to the designer’s collections; more than 1,600 bound volumes of fashion magazines from 1970 to 2007 and, finally, films, press reviews, writings, lectures and notes written by the designer himself.

Most of this heritage, more than 100,000 documents, has been included in a database with a linear and capillary structure, based on thematic and chronological criteria, for easy consultation. The creation of a virtual archive with these characteristics offers a heterogeneous audience the possibility of learning about Gianfranco Ferré’s work in a direct way.

The existence of a database conceived in this way has made possible, over the years, a remarkable series of initiatives that have their strengths and beginnings precisely in this heritage: from the publication of thematic books to the creation of exhibitions, from the commitment to training students to the promotion of study and research programs in collaboration with University and Institutions, from the scheduling of lectures and visits to the participation in events or conventions focused on themes related to Gianfranco Ferré’s work and, in general, to the fashion and aesthetics of our time.

The Foundation and the city of Milan

Every activity of the Foundation has had the city of Milan as a privileged partner and has dialogued with this city, though with the desire to be open to the entire world. Gianfranco Ferré studied and always worked in Milan (even during his collaboration with Christian Dior in Paris) and it was in this city that he found the place and the stimuli for his profession.

Milan is one of the international fashion center, but it does not have a dedicated museum that can provide direct knowledge of all the objects, processes, aesthetic models, habits and innovations that have to do with clothing. Since its inception, the Ferré Foundation, with its archives, has offered the city an important section of what could have been its fashion museum.

At the same time, it has made its assets and its activities available to the institutions that provide training in the fashion sector in the city: from the universities that have set up degree and master’s courses (Politecnico di Milano, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Università Bocconi and IULM ) to other facilities (IED and Domus Academy), without forgetting the state technical institutes and the professional courses organized by the Province of Milan and the Lombardy Region.

A relationship has been established with trade associations aimed at deepening the ties between Fashion and Industry, which are particularly significant in Ferré’s professional history, from which to draw inspiration and reflection. Together with the various actors, training projects, research on topics of mutual interest, seminars and conventions were carried out.

The Foundation has always proposed itself as a point of reference. Its role has been to be a place for the evaluation and in-depth study of themes that have to do with the various professional activities, with the cultural changes that interact with fashion, style and image.

The Foundation and the Politecnico di Milano

In December 2021, the Foundation and the Politecnico di Milano present the new Gianfranco Ferré Research Center, which will be created at the same time as the Ferré family’s donation of the Foundation’s archives and headquarters to the Politecnico di Milano.

The Research Center was created with the aim of promoting digital innovation in the creative and cultural industries, combining the University’s technical-scientific know-how with the tangible and intangible heritage related to the history, culture and techniques of fashion preserved and valorized by the Gianfranco Ferré Foundation.