Gianfranco Ferré, the “Architect of Fashion”, is an Italian designer. In 1978, together with Mattioli, he established Gianfranco Ferré S.p.a.


  1. The Origin
  2. The Start of His Career
  3. Gianfranco Ferré S.p.a
  4. Creative Director of Dior
  5. Manufacturing
  6. Gianfranco Ferré Acquired by It Holding
  7. Collections
  8. Brand Development
    1. Store Openings
    2. Glasses
    3. Awards
  9. Brand Challenges 
  10. Gianfranco Ferré Closes
  11. Exhibition

The Origin

Gianfranco Ferre Dressing Model 1982
Gianfranco Ferré Dressing Model in 1982

Gianfranco Ferré is an Italian designer who was born in 1944. He is called an “Architect of Fashion” because he graduated from the Polytechnic of Milan in 1969, but also because he worked, as did Krizia, Missoni, and Armani, a style so close to industrial design, which is a characteristic of Italian prêt-à-porter.

“I’m very proud of my education as an architect, of the analytic and logical method which teaches one how to be creative, but I also try not to fall into the trap of the overly-structured or of abstract simplification”, Gianfranco says.

He has always been proud of his provincial and middle-class origins. Born in Legnano, a small town in hard-working Lombardy, to a family of small industrialists, he has never cut himself off from his roots. When he’s not traveling around the world, he returns every night to his father’s house, a small villa from the early 1900s. The villa is a mirror of his life and personality, and the place where he stores his memories and collections, including paintings of contemporary art and singular objects found during his travels, often in local antique markets, such as tie pins, which have become his trademark.

Gianfranco Ferre Sailor Glam Shirt SS 1982 Silk Organza Honeycomb Patterned Cotton Pique
Sailor Glam Shirt SS 1982 Silk Organza Honeycomb Patterned Cotton Pique. Photographed by Luca Stoppini

He has also been called the “Gran Lombardo,” or “the Big Man from Lombardy,” due to his powerful physique, and he is flattered by this because it expresses his perseverance, his capacity for work, and also his pleasure in daily routines and his taste for the things that he turns into fashion. These materials are the source of his best intuitions, such as the white shirt, a basic element of a man’s wardrobe, that was transformed into an instrument of seduction, female power, and pleasure. It is also seen in his choice of fabrics, in the different cuts (floating like a sail in the wind, shaped to the body, or even in a stretch and wafer-thin fabric), and in his invitation to a richer and more sophisticated expressiveness in the design of cuffs and collars.

The Start of his Career

Gianfranco Ferre 1990
Gianfranco Ferré 1990

His attention to refined, cultivated and often opulent details began long ago, with his first work experiences and his stays in India, which were fundamental to his education. He started his career designing belts and jewellery and worked with Albini in the early 1970s. At that time, he began life as a commuter, and this was the rhythm of his university years, with a continued back-and-forth between Legnano and Milan. He would leave at dawn for Genoa by train, in order to design, starting in 1972, for the raincoat company Sangiorgio. This taught him the rules of industrial manufacturing. On the train, he would meet the two people most important to him in his career: Rita Airaghi, from Legnano, a distant cousin with a degree in Italian literature and medieval Latin, who would become his alter ego; and Franco Mattioli, a clothing entrepreneur from Bologna who would be his business partner for 25 years, from 1974 to 1999.

Gianfranco Ferré S.p.a.

Gianfranco Ferre FW 87 Photographed by Herb Ritts
Fall/Winter 87 Photographed by Herb Ritts

In 1978, together with Mattioli, he established Gianfranco Ferré S.p.a.. That year he also presented his first women’s prêt-à-porter collection under his own name, at the Grand Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan, and later made his début with a men’s collection in 1982. It was an international success and the start of a brilliant career. “Ferré has kept astonishing us for 20 years”, the American journalist Dawn Mello wrote in Vogue Italy in October 1998.

“His début collection showed the first minimalist style: clean, simple lines for a refined sportswear. As Dior’s couturier, he developed a rich and voluptuous style that was admired for its elegance and spectacular nature. Today he enters the new millennium with a strong and specific vision that is deeply connected to his architectural education.”

Creative Director of Dior

Much discussed, especially in chauvinistic terms, was his selection in 1989 by Bernard Arnault, the leader of the LVMH group, to take the place of Marc Bohan as artistic director of Dior.

Gianfranco Ferre Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 96 Show in France
Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 96 Show in France

By 1986, Ferré had made his début on the Italian high fashion runways in Rome, showing his tailoring ability through the cut and in the line of his clothes, in a dream-like vision of dressing and the wise use of materials, even unusual ones, borrowed from design, like straw from Vienna.

“The Paris experience was really unique and was intended to restore haute couture and the house of Dior to their proper roles”, the designer said in a 1997 interview with Panorama, speaking about his consensual divorce from the French Maison. “After eight years it was time to devote myself to my own company, also because I felt a growing sense of expectation on the part of the public that likes my style. Through this adventure, I have realized that certain things belong just to me. Because, after all, I did create some milestones in fashion, for example the use of the nude in 1988, nylon, and see-throughs”.


Once back at his company full time, in his studio on via della Spiga in Milan, Ferré followed from up close the work on his new headquarters in the former Gondrand building on via Pontaccio, near the Brera. It was 78,000 square feet and opened in October 1998, showing the new face of the Ferré brand, with eight lines of clothing and accessories.

Gianfranco Ferre Vogue Sep 1991 AD Featuring Aly Dunne Photographed by Gianpaolo Barbieri
Vogue Sep 1991 AD Featuring Aly Dunne Photographed by Gianpaolo Barbieri

The turnover in 1997 was 1,400 billion liras, of which 75% was exported. Of that, 40% went to the U.S. and Japan. The firm has more than 400 stores for fashions and accessories, including proprietary shops and franchises. There is a license for perfumes with Diana de Silva. In 1997, the designer strengthened his relationship with his manufacturing partners, including Itierre from Isernia, a producer and distributor of jeans and sportswear, and the Marzotto group. He had been working with Marzotto since 1987, designing the G.F. Studio and GFF men’s and women’s collections.

Since 1987, he has designed fur collections produced and distributed by Mondialpelli. Furs and leather are among the materials that interest him the most. In 1995, Ferré was the subject of a biography written by the journalist Edgarda Ferri and published by Longanesi.

Gianfranco Ferré at Ferré's Fall/Winter 1996 Collection in Milan
Gianfranco Ferré at Ferré’s Fall/Winter 1996 Collection in Milan

The bustier with small bone inlays sewn with raffia became a cult fashion, as did silk that wrapped the figure and became a sort of asymmetric tunic, a light cloth with soft draping; and cloth cut in small superimposed rectangles for unique models which seemed to take off.

In October 2001 he arrives in Miami and choose to open his boutique in the prestigious neighborhood of Bal Harbour Shops, on the other side of Miami Beach. Opened in 1965, this architectural complex has the most famous haute couture boutiques.

Gianfranco Ferré Acquired by IT Holding

 In 2002 It Holding, a company owned by the Molise entrepreneur Tonino Perna, acquires 90% of Gianfranco Ferré S.p.a. The transaction is to be completed within the month of June for a sum of €161.7 million. Ferré has 10% of the shares and the position of President. During this time, “Look to the future,” is the motto of the new GF Ferré collection for young people. It takes the place of the GFF and Ferré Jeans brands, and makes its début at Milano Moda Uomo in June 2002. Inspired by urban life, it is completed with a line of accessories (bags, eyeglasses, shoes, and beachwear). The clothing is manufactured by Itierre, the accessories by other firms belonging to the It Holding group owned by Tonino Perna.


Gianfranco Ferre 2002 Fall/Winter Collection
2002 Fall/Winter Collection

Also, Ferré’s design met Allison’s technology. The new model of eyeglasses were named Pure Magnesium because they were made from 92% pure magnesium. Very light, non-allergic, and resistant to atmospheric agents, it is produced in four versions.

By the end of 2002 Ferré and It Holding agree to bring all licenses within the group. This decision should raise the turnover by 50%. Ferré produced only the first line in house, the others were manufactured on license. At the expiration of the contracts, the lines produced by Marzotto (men’s and women’s clothing) go to ITC (Bologna), the eyewear to Allison (Padua), the perfumes to ITF (Lodi), the shoes, bags, and leather accessories to PAF (a new company near Florence which for the men’s line at first relies on Mantelassi), and Jeans Couture to Itierre (Isernia). For men’s clothing, in cooperation with Saint Andrew’s (Cantarelli Group) the “custom made” program is relaunched.


Gianfranco Ferre 2002 AD
Gianfranco Ferre 2002 AD

The Winter 2002-2003 collection was unforgettable and incredible. Full of the weaving motif shown in: ermine, chinchilla, cashmere, even organza and taffetas, all knitted using ancient methods of sock manufacture. Gianfranco was inspired by the world of emotions, sensations for a look that is enlivened by the exchange of different and far off cultures. He is an explorer of a very wide cultural and costume heritage, and then his willingness, a sophisticated divertissement, to pick an era to dress.

This is how, for Winter 2003-2004, he proposed the Bonaparte “citizen”. The collection featured dresses which looked like columns, with very uplifted breasts that emphasized the neckline à la Pauline Borghese, alternating with very luxurious superstar punk stud jackets, in a waterfall of small chains and delicate cameos. The looks were a mixture of ancient and at the same time modern preciousness, which matched precise forms and eccentric designs. Even in accessories, the bags, in pony skin and snake skin, had a scepter-shaped handle made of real silver.

Gianfranco Ferre 2004 Fall/Winter Collection
2004 Fall/Winter Collection

For men, Ferré prefers the more classic typologies of urban dressing, with the ease of a casual spirit. His griffe is at the center of global plans to offer a new, complete identity, worked out in the Milan headquarters with great attention to the different production and distribution needs of It Holding. In June 2002 Gianfranco Ferré donated more than 32 models chosen from among the most representative of this career to the Costume Gallery of Palazzo Pitti. Also, the new GF line for children, produced by Valtib, was released.

Brand Development

Store Openings

Gianfranco Ferre Store at London
Gianfranco Ferre Store at London

In January 2003, with the new year, an intense 2-year program of new shops and the renovation of already-existing shops is put into effect. The first is in Paris, at Avenue Montaigne 51, and celebrated by the presentation of a collection at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume. Later, in February, the most important shop, the one in Milan on via Sant’Andrea, is reopened, completely renovated. The architect Ferré personally follows the work. Enlarged to 5,000 square feet on two levels, it has men’s and women’s collections in two symmetrical areas near the entrance to the building, which was once the site of Biki’s atelier. On the left is the men’s space, on the right the women’s, linked by a common hall. The real novelty is the creation, together with E’Spa, of another attraction: the refined Spa at Gianfranco Ferré, an oasis of relaxation dedicated to fitness and well-being.


In April 2003 the design of eyeglasses continues after magnesium, which as of now is made of 18 carat gold, combined and fused with titanium. A high-tech essential, with daylight lenses, and very precious. A year later, the company presents the new young fragrances GF Ferré Lei and GF Ferré Lui in Paris.


Gianfranco Ferre Receiving Awards 2004
Gianfranco Ferre Receiving Awards 2004

In September 2004  receives a career award, the “Chi è Chi del Giornalismo e della Moda” (‘Who’s Who of Journalism and Fashion’), and an acknowledgment from the Region of Lombardy as the “fashion creator who has developed a style similar to design and industrial planning, turning personal talent into an entrepreneurial reality”. A year later in February 2005, during a gala at La Scala in Milan, he received the “Longobard Seal,” conferred on people from Lombardy who “in their respective fields have contributed to enrich the cultural, civil, and artistic heritage of the region”.

In March 2005 Gianfranco Ferré designed new uniforms for Korean Air and are presented in Seoul. The uniforms are blue for pilots and black for ground personnel, made lighter with beige and sea-blue green and light blue celadon. Also at this time, at the request of Fashion in Motion, he presented 60 pieces during a show at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Brand Challenges

Gianfranco Ferré Fall/Winter 2009
Gianfranco Ferré Fall/Winter 2009

The great designer died on June 17, 2007 and the whole world of fashion was in mourning. On January 16, 2008, Lars Nilsson became creative director of the Ferré fashion house. He left his position after a few months. Then, on September 23, 2008, two young talented designers, Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi, known as the creators of 6267 label and winners of the Who’s on next competition in 2005, inherited the artistic direction of the Maison Ferré.

In 2009 the company Gianfranco Ferré enters into a crisis, at the same time as Itierre, the company to which Ferré delegated the manufacturing. A year later, the commissioners undertook a request for the cancellation of the lease for the headquarter in via Pontaccio, Milan.

In 2010, on the occasion of the presentation of the spring-summer collection, the latest innovation is the launch of a complete line of jewelry called Jewellery Collection.

Gianfranco Ferré Closes

On 11 March 2011, Gianfranco Ferré was sold by IT Holding Group to the Paris Group of Dubai. The new company immediately began to globally restructure the brand, and replaced many of the designers. In early 2014, Ferré announced the permanent closure of any activities in Italy. The brand is not sold, but kept and not used by the properties.


Gianfranco Ferre White Shirt Exhibition 2014
White Shirt Exhibition in Phoenix 2014

To Gianfranco, the white shirt was more than just a classic. During his career, he deconstructed and reconstructed its basic elements, infusing them with unique details. The Gianfranco Ferré Foundation wanted to highlight this part of Gianfranco’s career because it represented his brand identity. So, on November 4, 2015 the exhibition “The White Shirt According to Me. Gianfranco Ferré” was debuted at The Phoenix Art Museum. It was produced and designed by the Gianfranco Ferré Foundation in Milan and by the Prato Textile Museum. The exhibition showcased Ferré’s most significant white shirts, technical designs, photographs and videos from the archives of the Gianfranco Ferré Foundation.

Gianfranco Ferre Phoenix Classic Glamour White Shirt
The Phoenix Classic Glamour White Shirt


Salvatore Ferragamo (1898-1960). Famous Italian shoemaker with 20.000 models and 350 patents. He created multiple iconic luxury women’s shoes. Also known as “Shoemaker of the Stars.”


  1. The Life of Salvatore Ferragamo
    1. Young Talent
    2. Immigration to the U.S.
    3. Shoemaker of the Stars
    4. Return to Italy
    5. The Wedge Shoe
    6. Salvatore Ferragamo’s Death
  2. Brand Expansion From 1970s to early 2000s
  3. World-Wide Expansion
    1. New Opening’s
    2. Acknowledgments
    3. New Creative Director
  4. World-Wide Expansion Continued
  5. Recent Years
  6. Financial Evolution
  7. Current Scenario

The Life of Salvatore Ferragamo

Young Talent

Salvatore Ferragamo (1898-1960). Famous Italian shoemaker. The 11th, out of 14 children, born in Bonito. A small village about 160 miles from Naples, from which emigration to America was often a necessity. At the age of 9 Salvatore, who left school in the third grade, created his first pair of shoes out of white cardboard for his sister’s first Holy Communion. From a young age he had clear ideas and wanted to become a shoemaker. Although, in southern Italy a shoemaker is one of the humblest professions, his parents, despite their poverty, were not happy with his choice.

At age 11 he was an apprentice in Luigi Festa’s workshop in Bonito, and by the age of 13 he had his own shop where he began to create women’s shoes. His workshop was located at home in a space between the front door and the kitchen, with the shop window facing a church. With five workers, of whom the oldest, was 18.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Portrait
Salvatore Ferragamo Portrait

Immigration to the U.S.

Then, in 1914, at age 16, he immigrated, via the ship Stampalia, to the United States to join his brothers who were already there. Girolamo was a tailor, Secondino a carpenter, and Alfonso ironed clothes in the tailor’s shop of the American Film Company in Santa Barbara. But in Boston, his brother-in-law Joseph Covelli, had already found him a job at the Queen Quality Shoes Company. They produced thousands of shoes a day, soles and heels in half a second, and one minute for sewing. Anyone would have been thankful for such a job, but not the young Salvatore. He had a more noble idea of the shoemaker’s profession. He couldn’t stand those machines. He exclaimed, “They made shoes that were heavy, clumsy, and squat, with a toe shaped like a potato and a leaden heel.” He left the factory, joined his brothers in Santa Barbara, and convinced them to combine their small savings and invest in a shoe repair shop. As told in his autobiography, Il calzolaio dei sogni (The Shoemaker of Dreams), Salvatore immediately understood that California, with its fast-growing film industry, would be the Promise Land.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Stampalia Ship
Stampalia Ship

It all started when the property manager at the American Film Company complained about the boots worn in the western movies. He believed, if they were easy to wear, the styling was no good, if the style was attractive, they hurt the feet of the actors. Ferragamo offered his services and produced boots for the manager. This was a success and the director Cecil B. De Mille said, “We would have won the West sooner if we had had your boots.” It was the start of Ferragamo’s career.

Shoemaker of the Stars

At this time in Hollywood 1923, the future of the “Made in Italy” movement was beginning. The biggest stars visited his boutique, including Mary Pickford. He created the original Ferragamo model for her in brown kidskin, “with two ears standing up in front.” Suddenly, stars of cinema in California, would only feel like stars if they were wearing shoes made by the “Italian shoemaker.” So, he soon became known as the “shoemaker to the stars.” He created pale lavender sandals for Jean Harlow, cork-shaped heels for Gloria Swanson, and slippers in multicolored satin for Lillian Gish. Also, loafers for both Douglas Fairbanks and Rodolfo Valentino.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo First Hollywood Store
Salvatore Ferragamo First Hollywood Store

During the time of WWII there was a scarcity of materials, which fed his talents for new inventions. He used the strangest materials, including crystal, embroidery, feathers, kangaroo, antelope, sea leopard, and fish skins. This set him apart from other designers. Also, while in California he studied the anatomy of the foot and patented a system of putting thin layers of steel in the sole of the shoe in order to provide arch support. His success was due to the comfort of his shoes.

Same Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo with Sophia Loren
Salvatore Ferragamo with Sophia Loren

Return to Italy

Later, he returned to Florence, Italy in search of good artisans and opened his first workshop in 1927 with 60 workers. Then, in 1929, during the Great Depression, he faced bankruptcy. Ferragamo didn’t despair, and soon made a comeback. By 1938 he was able to acquire the Palazzo Spini Feroni on via Tornabuoni, which is today still the headquarters of the company. In that same year, he acquired the Michelangelo style villa Il Palagio in Fiesole.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo 1938 First Store in Florence
Store in Florence 1938

The Wedge Shoe

Salvatore Ferragamos popularity continued. Maria José walked to the altar wearing his shoes. Mussolini, who suffered from corns and chilblains, wore his boots. The Maharani of Cooch Behar came and ordered 100 pair. From New York, Paris, and London came the ladies who wear Chanel and Schiaparelli. For evening sandals, he invented an upper in transparent paper. At this time, using steel for arch support was poor quality. So, he created the most iconic shoe of the century. It was an orthopedic model of a platform shoe, and people called it the wedge. It was made with a cork heel, that filled in the entire space formed by the arch of the foot. The model was a success, it sold everywhere. It marked a new era and immediately became a symbol of style at this time.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Wedge Shoe
Salvatore Ferragamo Wedge Shoe

Salvatore Ferragamo’s Death

Then, in 1940 he married Wanda Miletti, a 18-year-old girl from his hometown who was the daughter of the local doctor and mayor. She would be the mother of his six children: Fiamma (died in 1998), Ferruccio, Giovanna, Fulvia, Leonardo, and Massimo. All worked in important positions within the company after the premature death of their father in 1960. After his death, Wanda, his wife, took over the company.

Salvatore left behind a company which was the symbol of the creativity and productivity in Italy. With 20,000 models and 350 patents. An infinite number of models marked different epochs, times, and fashions. Through the 50s Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland were considered the “It Girls” of Ferragamo. These women represented the beginning of the brands icon, which are still used today. The brand continues to use the “It Girl” in their brand language to communicate with the customer, and build brand image.

Salvatore Ferragamo
Salvatore Ferragamo and Audrey Hepburn

Ferragamo was famous for the creation of the wedge heel, French toe, platform heel, stage toe, the Roman sandal, the shell shaped sole, invisible nylon model, and the sculpted heel, shaped like the prow of a battleship. Also, you can’t forget the gloved arch shoe created for Maharani of Cooch Behar in 1938. Salvatore left a business that his heirs have carried forward, always remaining faithful to his professional standards and not just defending the status quo.

Brand Expansion From 1970s to early 2000s

During the 1970s, thanks to the initiative and preparation of Wanda, president of the company, the brand expanded and started offering total look collections. With fashion collections, men’s lines, perfumes, and eyeglasses, all of which gradually conquered the market. In 1978 his daughter, Fiamma, designed the Vara shoe which became a best seller. Today, the Vara shoe is considered a Ferragamo iconic element.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Vara shoe
Salvatore Ferragamo Iconic Vara shoe

In July 1996, Ferragamo acquired Emanuel Ungaro, a luxury menswear line. Two years later the company turnover reached 850 billion liras, most of which came from Europe, U.S., the Far East, Africa, and Oceania. The company had 40 privately owned boutiques, plus several exclusive points-of-sale. Also, several of Salvatore’s grandchildren worked in the company. Following the birth of the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, in Palazzo Spini Feroni, the company has committed itself to art exhibits and cultural activities, not just as a sponsor or patron. In 1999 the French designer Marc Audibet creates the new Autumn-Winter 2000-2001 collection. During this time, they appointed a new creative director of the menswear line, Massimiliano Giornetti.

World-Wide Expansion

New Openings

In 2001 the company introduced its world-wide expansion plans, created by architect Michael Gabellini, to renovate, or open, a total of 100 boutiques. The renovations were to gain a still more sophisticated architectural style. A new store opens in Korea, in a prestigious commercial area of Seoul. The store occupies a four-storey building with a garden-terrace on the roof.

And by 2003 new stores will open in New York, Tokyo, and London. They ended 2001 with €641 million in consolidated revenues, 46% coming from the Far East.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Seoul Store Opening
Seoul Store Opening 2001


In May 2001 Leonardo Ferragamo becomes president of Altagamma, an association founded in 1992 with 43 prestigious Italian companies as members.

The year of 2002 was full of good news and satisfaction. The company was acknowledged as the best brand of the year in China, where the label sells the most product. Then, beginning in June, Ferragamo starts a joint venture with Ermenegildo Zegna for the launch of the new brand Zefer, which ended later in 2013.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Zefer Brand
Salvatore Ferragamo Zefer Brand

Later in October Wanda Ferragamo, the president of the company, is named “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” by the “Committee of 200,” an organization that each year recognizes the top women managers and entrepreneurs all over the world. The ceremony took place in New York. The citation: “For success in the transformation of a shoe factory into an international luxury concern, in which the family maintains total control of its own flourishing business…”

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Wanda Ferragamo 2002
Wanda Ferragamo 2002

New Creative Director

At this time, Graeme Black became the new creative director of womenswear. The collection for Winter 2003-2004 experiments with shapes, volumes, and combinations. It interprets with common sense colors and references inspired by the Russia of St. Petersburg. Recalling Constructivist art and a certain nostalgia for decadent opulence and taste reinterpreted in a very modern way. There were precious fabrics and ornaments, brocades, inlays with strong visual impact, and irreverent combinations such as a crocodile jacket with jeans. The accessories included cartoon-like floral and mother-of-pearl-covered platform shoes, that even would have pleased Salvatore, the founder. As well as incredible bags made of snake-skin decorated with small silver coins.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Graeme Black
Creative Director Graeme Black

World-Wide Expansion Continued

Since 2002 the worldwide expansion plan is well under way. The distribution network had 16 new points-of-sale, including the important new boutiques in Osaka, Hong Kong (Pacific Place), Tokyo (Ginza Chou Dori), Amsterdam, and the historic center of Vienna, near the Hofburg castle. Also, stores in Shanghai Center (China), Paris (Avenue Montaigne), and Milan (via Montenapoleone) are re-opened after renovations.

In May of 2003 Ferragamo’s releases its very latest sunglasses, called the Maharani. These are special because they are inspired by the celebrated jeweled-sandal created in far off 1938 for the Maharani of Cooch Behar.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Maharani Sunglasses 2003
Maharani Sunglasses 2003

The Salvatore Ferragamo group ends the year with a consolidated turnover of €549 million, a 5% increase compared to 2003. Also, sales in Japan continue to increase. With 20% of their turnover there, a new flagship is opened in the heart of one of Tokyo’s most fashionable neighborhoods.

In 2004 Wanda Ferragamo is named Knight of the Big Cross by the president of Italy. In May of 2005, as part of the Fashion Project of the Province of Florence, with attendance by a large international public, Palazzo Strozzi hosts the fashion show in a memorable evening organized by Beppe Modenese. Then, starting in June 2005, Ferragamo Finanziaria enters a long-term agreement with the Porsche Design group to foresee the production and distribution of shoes, bags, and leather accessories.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Florence Store
Salvatore Ferragamo Florence Store

In 2006 new shops in Via Condotti were opened in Rome and Frankfurt. In November of the same year, Michele Norsa became Ferragamo’s new CEO. His managerial mind led the company to expand more and more, exploring new markets such as India, Latin America and Thailand. A year later, after a new CEO, Cristina Ortiz, was appointed as creative director for the womenswear line from 2007 and stayed till 2010.

Recent Years

In 2008 Salvatore Ferragamo company celebrates their 80th anniversary with an exhibition in Shanghai. Later, in January of 2010 Massimiliano Giornetti, current chief creative director of menswear, becomes creative director for the womenswear line. So, at this time, Giornetti was holding  a lot of creative power in Ferragamo being the creative director for both women’s and menswear lines.

They officially become a part of Milan stock exchange in 2011. At this time, profits rose around 70% to €103.3 millions.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Anniversary Shanghai
Anniversary Exhibition Shanghai

Through 2013 Ferragamo focused on accessories, in addition to footwear. In early October, they began to target a younger generation by using an “innovative” digital campaign and revamping physical stores. Also, continuing to renovate  stores in existing markets in Europe and the U.S. to boost profitability in its retail division.

Ferragamo reported a 81% rise in Net profits to €81 million in the first half of 2013. The revenues are outside the Italian market, which has struggled to emerge from recession.

Financial Evolution

Their world-wide expansion plan are a success. As of 31 December 2014, the Salvatore Ferragamo Group has posted total revenues of €1.332 million and a 5.9% increase at current exchange rates. At this time, political tensions in Russia and Ukraine reduced the number of shoppers traveling from the region to Europe lead to decreasing number of sales in some cities through Europe. The Asia Pacific region is the best performer with 37.2% of sales.

Salvatore Ferragamo open new shops in less well-known cities Yantai in China, Surabaya in Indonesia, and Cartagena in Colombia. They continued to renovate stores in Europe and U.S. including Miami and Rome. Also, they reopened in San Francisco, on the west coast of America which is a popular destination for holidaying Chinese shoppers.

Salvatore Ferragamo continues to meet challenges due to a weaker euro, lower oil prices, and economic weakness in China. Also, United States, as a strong dollar hits tourist flows, have weighed on several luxury goods companies in recent months. Hong Kong deterirated further in the third quarter. By contrast, Japan has a strong performance thanks to Chinese tourists.

Asia Pacific area, the biggest market, experienced a 2% increase in sales in the first nine months of 2015. Revenues were up 7% from a year earlier, thanks to a 8% increase in the fouth quarter.

In 2016 revenues total €1.438 billion.

The situation in China is not yet get recovered because of the failing oil prices and global security threats affecting tourist spending. But sales grow particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States, and push for e-commerce in Asia

Current Scenario

Currently, Salvatore Ferragamo is going through major changes. In August 2016 Eraldo Poletto was appointed as CEO. Who is credited for doubling the sales at the accessibly-priced handbag maker, Furla, in the last five years. Also, 3 new creative directors have been hired after the departure of Massimiliano Giornetti. This includes Guillaume Meilland for menswear, along with Paul Andrew for Women shoes, and Fulvio Rigoni for Woman’s-Ready-to-Wear.

In October 2017 after the departure of Fulvio Rigoni, Paul Andrew is appointed Creative Director, Women’s Collection.

The brand now focuses on creating unique and exciting campaigns to bring back its positioning of industry leader it once had in the WWII era.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Eraldo Poletto
CEO Eraldo Poletto

Ferragamo’s designs will live forever. The classic ballet flat is always in style and most women’s go to shoe. The brand is known as the exemplary ideal shoe for women. It strives to be excellent in terms of quality, by keeping the production, and standard of craftsmanship, exceptional.



Furla began in 1927 in Bologna, Italy. Now, the company produces Italian-designed products that range from handbags and shoes to accessories.


  1. The Origin
  2. The Style
  3. Success in Italian and Abroad Markets
  4. Fondazione Furla
  5. Brand expansion
    1. Furla Goes Public
  6. 90th Anniversary
  7. Current Situation

The Origin

Furla is an Italian leather company that was established in Bologna in a historic 18th century villa in the 1927 by  Aldo and Margherita Fulanetto. At first, the company distributed clothing and accessories, then over the years began to manufacture bags, shoes, and leather accessories.

Furla Headquarters in Bologna
Headquarters in Bologna

In 1955 Aldo opened the first Furla store on Via Ugo Bassi in the heart of Bologna and the brand began to grow. By the 70s the second generation, siblings Carlo, Paolo and Giovanna Furlanetto, took position. Paolo and Carlo took responsibility of the growth of the company, while Giovanna decides the creative direction. At this time the company launched the first handbag and accessories collection with the furla logo. The company took a shift towards the design and production of exclusive leather items. By the 80s the brand has stores in Bologna, Rome, Paris and New York.

The Style

The Furla collections are Made in Italy and embody the Italian craftsmanship, but with a modern twist. They use prized leathers, and have created a special tanning process with an emphasis on detail, supported by the latest technology. The products embody Italian lifestyle and bring that to all parts of the world.

Furla Iconic Metropolis Bag
Iconic Metropolis Bag

Accessible luxury has always been the brand’s focus strategy, especially for emerging markets. By adopting contemporary and functional to its design philosophy, creating a glamorous and joyful lifestyle, Furla has engaged with its customers successfully. Brand’s global best seller Metropolis handbag, a clean and liner design, produced from fine materials and pure italian craftsmanship but only cost around €250, it has made luxury affordable.

Success in Italian and Abroad Markets

By 1998 the company reached sales of about €40 million, and had distribution all over the world, with 56 single-brand boutiques in Italy and 24 abroad. In February 2000 the opening of the French market increased sales by 35% compared to 1999. Also during this year, the company founded the “Premio Furla Per L’Arte”, with the purpose to provide visibility to Italian emerging artists.

In February 2002 the company enters the teen,w which marked the birth of Furlina, a teenage comic strip character who appears on bags, accessories, and watches. A year later the company sees growth in the domestic market, which was the goal of Giovannna Furlanetto. The corporate strategy for achieving it includes a program that will open two boutiques in Sardinia, in Fort Village and Cagliari, and two in Sicily, in Syracuse and Taormina. Then, in 2007, Eraldo Poletto was appointed the first non-family member chief executive officer.

Fondazione Furla

Fondazione Furla
Fondazione Furla

In 2008 Fondazione Furla is created and supports the Premio Furla per l’Arte award aimed at emerging Italian artists on the contemporary scene. In the same year, the company launched the male collection, its first shoe line, designed by Max Kibardin, and starts exploring announced that the company signed an agreement wi Tamburi Investment Partners, and ready to go public in 2017, become one of few Italian companies to be listed.

In 2013 Italy and Asia-Pacific (especially Japan) represents Furla strongest markets. Handbags sales further increase in 2014 , exceeding their double.

Brand Expansion

Starting from 2014, Furla made significant marketing push, by collaborating with established fashion photographer Mario Testino and his agency. Furla built a 360 degree communication project to reset the tone of voice and brand image. A huge investment was made to support ad campaign to be seen on all kinds of media, including outdoor billboards, press, videos, social media, in store and PR purposes.

Furla Spring/Summer 2015 Campaign by Mario Testino
Spring/Summer 2015 Campaign by Mario Testino

Furla opened 111 new shops worldwide in last two years, and 60% of Furla retail network is fully owned by the company.  the year 2014 closed with a consolidated turnover of €262 million, and achieved 15% increase compared to 2013.

In 2015 Furla continued to expand its distribution network, in the first half of the year, the company opened 39 new stores, as a result, sales were increased 30% to €151.2 million in the first half of 2015. Japan remains Furla’s most important market. Meanwhile, Furla reached its goal and opened one brand new flagship store in New York.

Furla New York Fifth Avenue Flagship Store
New York Fifth Avenue Flagship Store

Also at this time, the company appointed former C.Wonder retail executive Scott Links as its new CEO of the US department. With the aiming to becoming a lifestyle brand, now Furla has added new product categories such as women’s shoes, men’s leather goods, accessories, sunglasses, jewelry and watches.

Furla goes Public

The brand closed 2015 with a consolidated turnover of €339 million, and 80% come from abroad markets. In May 2016 Eraldo Poletto, CEO, left Furla. 

90th Anniversary

Furla 90th Anniversary Capsule Collection
90th Anniversary Capsule Collection

In 2017 Furla celebrated its 90th anniversary by launching a limited collection of its best seller Metropolis handbag during Milan Fashion Week. This limited collection are based on five different colors and nine changeable flaps to narrated a story of music style across 90 years, and each bag represented one iconic music style in every decade. The limited collection was revealed e-commerce. Selling online strengthened the brand, leading to the opening of new concept stores in Milan and abroad and an increase of sales of 45% in three years (2010-2013).

Current Situation

Furla Spring Summer 2017 Campaign
Spring/Summer 2017 Campaign

By 2018 Furla’s network reaches over 1600 points of sales globally, of which 1200 are multi-brand and department stores, and the rest 444 mono-brand store are operating across 100 countries, located in most prestigious shopping area. In addition, brand’s expanded distribution strategy is set to continue throughout 2017.


In 1953, Renzo Rossetti, along with his brother Renato, opened their first shoe factory in Parabiago, which later developed into their brand known as Fratelli Rossetti.


  1. The Origin: Renzo & Renato Rossetti
  2. Signature Moccasin Brera
  3. the Flexa Shoe
  4. The Fratelli Rossetti Family
    1. Renzo Rossetti Museum
  5. Brand Development
  6. Current Situation

The Origin: Renzo & Renato Rossetti

In 1953, Renzo Rossetti, along with his brother Renato, opened their first shoe factory in Parabiago, which later developed into their brand known as Fratelli Rossetti. Then, the company was officially established in 1955 by the Rossetti brothers, who were born in Sanguinetto, near Verona. The brothers first created sport shoes then moved on to formal shoes.

Fratelli Rossetti Founder Renzo Rossetti
Founder Renzo Rossetti

Renzo began working at the age of 13, and was a typographer, mechanical draftsman, and artisanal producer of shoes for cyclists. Success came through the artisanal perfection. Renzo exclaims,

“We have always worked as if we had to personally answer to the customer for every pair of shoes we sell him.”

This includes innovation applied to a classic style. In the book I Mass-Moda. Fatti e Personaggi dell’Italian Look (Spinelli Publishers, 1979), Adriana Mulassano says “Men, poor things, as to shoes, were really in a bad way.” The market wouldn’t offer anything other than laced shoes with fringes and ‘derbies’, in black or brown calfskin. There were no new seasonal styles and no imagination. And so they started: the banning of laces, the promotion of loafers, the launch of the first very soft unlined shoes to be worn in summer without socks, the marketing of boots, higher heels, and the introduction of colors through an ageing process that would make them more acceptable.

Signature Moccasin Brera

Fratelli Rossetti Iconic Brera Shoes
Iconic Brera Moccasin

In 1961, their signature moccasin, Brera, was created. Success was such that in 1966 Fratelli Rossetti was forced to expand and build a very modern production plant.

In the 70’S, Fratelli Rossetti, collaborated with the much celebrated Italian designers like Valentino, Armani, and Pierre Cardin, combining creativity and production results.

The first women’s line was created in 1973. Single-brand boutiques followed one after another in Genoa, Venice, Milan (at via Matteotti-via Montenapoleone), Bari, Rome, Paris, and Chicago. Diego, Renzo’s son, joined the family business in 1978. Under his direction, Fratelli Rossetti was the first Italian fashion label to open a boutique on Madison Avenue in New York. Today he is company Chairman.

Dario began working in the style department in 1981, he attended an artistic university with courses for shoemaking. He is an art lover who collects antiques and is passionate about vintage cars and searching for inspiration for new creations to add to the collections. In the Nineties, Luca graduated from Milan’s Bocconi University, and was already involved in the management side of the business. At this time, all three brothers were involved in the business.

The Flexa Shoe

They recently created the Flexa shoe, a 18 piece hand-assembled which adjust to the foot’s movement thanks to unusual flexibility and a removable foot-strap.

The historic shoe factory in Parabiago, near Milan manufactures more than 400,000 pairs of shoes a year, with a turnover that in the late 1990s was about 70 billion liras. Some 50% of the production is sold in Italy and the rest is exported. Each year about 10% goes to the U.S., where the company has been active for more than twenty years and where, in June 1999, it opened a large showroom on Madison Avenue in New York.

Fratelli Rossetti Flexa Shoes
Flexa Shoes

In May 2002 the Flexa Sailing model is created at the explicit request of Mascalzone Latino (Latin Scoundrel), the Italian boat competing in the America’s Cup. It has all the characteristics requested by the team members. The first prototypes are tested by the crew during training at Elba and in Auckland. The model goes on sale in July 2002 in two versions: the Flexa Sailing Professional, with the same technical standards as the shoe worn by the crew in the America’s Cup, and Flexa Sailing, less high-tech, for fans of sailing in general. The shoe is available in red and blue, the colors of Mascalzone Latino, and in a sand color.

In November, shoes, ankle boots, and desert boots are created in the brightest colors: red, green, and yellow; flats and heels are created for singing and dancing. In the same style as the costumes by Elisa Savi, these shoes have been designed by the Rossetti brothers for the American musical Fiddler on the Roof, which received three Oscars in its film version and had more than 3,000 performances on Broadway in New York, in London, and in Japan.

The Fratelli Rossetti Family

By 2003 the company employs 260 workers, and is one of the most important in the field regarding turnover, number of employees, and international image. The entire ownership is still in the hands of the Rossetti family. The president of the group is Renzo Rossetti, who sets long-term strategy. His three sons have other operating functions: Diego, 46, in the company for more than twenty years, is the marketing and commercial director and coordinates all the communication activities in Italy and abroad; Dario, 44, in the company for more than ten years, follows coordination, planning, modeling, and purchases; Luca, 37, a graduate of the Bocconi University in Milan, is the general manager.

The Fratelli Rossetti Brothers
The Rossetti Brothers

In February 2003 Fratelli Rossetti opens its first outlet space in Foxtown, a large multi-brand store in Mendrisio, Switzerland. The strategy chosen by Fratelli Rossetti at the beginning has not changed over the years and can be summed up in a concept that is still extremely effective even today: maximum harmony between technology and tradition, maximum equilibrium between quality and price. At this time in Italy, there are 13 boutiques. Abroad, the company’s main locations are in New York, Paris, London, Brussels, and Hong Kong.

Renzo Rossetti Museum

"One Collection" From Fratelli Museum
“One Collection” From Fratelli Museum

Renzo Rossetti opens his own museum with a rich collection of ethnic shoes accumulated over a period of 50 years in Parabiago. He began the collection at an early age, before World War II, and very much desired to see it have its own space. The museum can be visited by appointment. It has 3,000 pairs of shoes that are perfectly maintained.

Brand Development

In 2005 after the opening of a third boutique in Paris, on Rue de Grenelle, comes the début of a new franchise store in Dubai. The company has a turnover of €55 million in 2004.

In 2004 and 2008, they opened a franchise store in Dubai and one store in Hong Kong. As China started being the new luxury market, 2010 saw the brand opening its stores in China.  

In 2011, Fratelli Rossetti collaborated with the Californian Designer George Esquivel, combining the quality of the brand with the innovative colour matches, for their Spring/Summer collection. The same year itself, a virtual store was launched for online sales. In 2012,  the brand teamed up with NBC Sports for Super Bowl, providing commentators covering the football event with footwear.

Fratelli Rossetti "Made to Measure"Fratelli Rossetti “Made to Measure”

In the same year itself, they launched ‘made to measure’ service. Fratelli Rossetti launched a limited  edition collection for the online platform shoescribe. The ‘Toledo Experience’ was a live show to the audience showcasing the famous hand-colouring technique, happened at the Montenapoleone in Milan in 2013. To strengthen the brand’s presence in Far East, a 100 square meter store in Taiwan was opened, in the Mall of Taipei in the same year.

Current Situation

Fratelli Rossetti 2017 Campaign
Fratelli Rossetti 2017 Campaign

In 2015, the brand proposed ‘A tribute to Brera’ their iconic moccasin. The same year  the brand introduced Dandy, the derby in mirror versions. Also, #sexyinflats was a project done, dedicated to women who can feel sexy even without their heels on.  The year was closed with a turnover of €72 million year, which was 4% higher than the previous year, showing the brand has the correct direction for growth.

Fratelli Rossetti, has an aim for 2018, which is to expand itself by opening 11 stores in China. With a wide presence, the brand has expanded while retaining its values and at the same time catering to the changing demands of the fashion and the consumer.


Fendi is a high fashion Italian company, known for its luxurious fur and leather goods. Read the history of the historic brand with the double F.


  1. The Origin
  2. Karl Lagerfeld Creative Director
  3. The Third Generation
  4. LVMH Acquires Fendi
  5. The Success
  6. The Recent Years
  7. Celebrating 50 Years of Collaboration with Lagerfeld
  8. Current Situation

The Origin

Italian house of furs and leather goods. One of the first brands of the Made in Italy movement to become world famous. The company was established in Rome 1925, as a small shop for leather goods, and a secret fur workshop, on via del Plebiscito. The founders, Edoardo and Adele Fendi, developed the brand, but the true success started with the second generation. The next generation was represented by five sisters, Paola, Anna, Franca, Carla, and Alda. They brought new energy and ideas during the boom years that caused the brand to flourish.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Fendi First Original Store in Rome
First Original Store in Rome

Karl Lagerfeld Creative Director

In 1964 Fendi opened a historic boutique in the heart of Rome on via Borgognona. The next year their collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld, who succeeded Bert and Cruz, marked the birth of the brand. Lagerfeld is known for the way he transformed the concept of fur. He reinvented a garment that had traditionally been considered pompous, bulky, and not always easy to wear. With Lagerfeld as creative director, fur acquired a softness, wearability, reversibility, and became “fun fur”, a staple in the brand DNA that still exists today. At the same time, he searched for new materials, treatments, experimental techniques, and the rediscovery of forgotten and overlooked furs.

Mame fashion Dictionary: Multi Colored Fur Bag Autumn/Winter 2016/2017 Collection
A Multi Colored Fur Bag from the Autumn/Winter 2016/2017 Collection

Over the years the Fendi bag lost its image of status-symbol, and became more functional. Leather was printed, dyed, and woven. The double FFs, in black and brown, were immediately recognizable and combined with stripes and squared patterns. In the 1970s came the granapaglia, a type of calfskin worked in a special way with scratches. The Giano, Astrologia, Pasta and Selleria lines, all completely handmade and in limited numbers, were created.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: 5 Fendi Sisters With Karl Lagerfeld
5 Fendi Sisters With Karl Lagerfeld

The Third Generation

In 1977 Lagerfeld launched the fashion house first ready-to-wear collection. By 1987, the third generation, represented by Silvia Venturini Fendi, daughter of Anna, took place as Creative Director for accessories and men’s lines. She launched the Fendissime line, which included furs, sportswear, and accessories for a younger market. Two years later, they opened their first store in New York on Fifth Avenue. Meanwhile, the empire of the five sisters enriched itself with numerous licenses, including knitwear, bathing suits, jeans, umbrellas, watches, eyeglasses, ceramics, furnishings, and linens. In total, about twenty licenses, besides furs and leather goods.

At this time, about 80% of the production was exported. In Italy and abroad there were about 100 boutiques and 600 points-of-sale, with a turnover of about 600 billion liras, which put Fendi in fourth place among the brands of Italian prêt-à-porter. Fendi has created theatrical furs for both stage and screen, notably for Gruppo di Famiglia in un interno (1974) and The Innocent (1976) by Visconti, La vera storia della Dama delle Camelie (1980) by Bolognini, La Traviata (1983) by Zeffirelli, Interno Berlinese (1985) by Liliana Cavani, Carmen (1986), The Age of Innocence (1993) by Scorsese, and Evita (1996) by Parker.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Silvia Vetturini Fendi
Silvia Vetturini Fendi

LVMH Acquires Fendi

By the end of 1999, the company is at the center of many buying appetites. After endless sales rumors, the maison ran under the control of Prada and Bernard Arnault, who was the Louis Vuitton owner. LVMH, in a joint venture with Prada (Lvp Holding), acquires 51% of the company, but management remains in the hands of the Fendi family. Later on, Prada began selling its shares to LVMH, which in 2004 acquired 84% of the shares. Of the five Fendi sisters, Carla Fendi’s only major shareholder remains.

The Success

In January 2001, Fendi collaborated in a joint venture with Aoi, a 30 years distributor of the brand in Japan. The new company, called Fendi Japan K: K, is on the market from the spring-summer 2001 collection.

Since 2002, the Men’s collection has been produced for 5 years by Company of So. Lather this year, they launched the Salleria collection, a made-to-order service for handmade leather goods including the famous Baugette and Peekaboo bags. This gives the customers an opportunity to fully customize their bag, seen as a true luxury.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salleria Collection Custom Service and Handmade
Galleria Collection: Custom Service and Handmade

Fendi continues to stay involved with contemporary events including the exhibit Goddess, at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the most prestigious events in New York that spring, displays two dresses donated by the Fendi Archive in 2003.

Also, a special moment in April 2005 in Rome, the 18th-century palazzo Boncompagni Ludovisi becomes Palazzo Fendi. They build a new headquarters, and with its opening, the house celebrates their 80th anniversary. Later, in 2010 they launch kids wear and Fendi Home.

In the year of 2007, Fendi staged an unforgettable fashion show at the Great Wall of China with 88 models and a 1,500-mile-long catwalk.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Fendi Fashion Show at the Great Wall of China
Fendi Fashion Show at the Great Wall of China

The opening of a new boutique in Paris in 2008, however, took place with a private concert of Amy Winehouse for just 400 guests.

The Recent Years

This Italian house continues to get involved with new project and innovations. In 2011, they were chosen, due to its common values of craftsmanship and tradition, to collaborate with the Maserati “GranTurismo Convertible”. It was overlooked by Silvia Venturini Fendi and featured materials created in various colors specifically for it. It had Fendi’s double F logo stitched into the seats, in the center of the 20-inch Trident design alloy wheels, and side sills.

In 2013 the group started the restoration work on the fountains in Rome. They began with the Trevi Fountain, and followed up with the Quattro Fontane. To the brand, this is more than charity. This showed Rome and Fendi share a deep connection. Fendi is rooted in Rome, and has always been its muse. Later, in June 2013 they sign a contract with Safilo Group S.p.A. for the production and worldwide distribution of sunglasses and eye-glasses’ frames.

As for 2014, the brand took another step towards technology. Unveiling luxurious new headphones created in collaboration with Beats by Dr. Dre. The Fendi X Beats by Dr. Dre was announced in Fendi’s Men’s Spring/Summer 2015 fashion show in Milan. Later, the brand collaborated with Zaha Hadid to create a layered leather handbag, which was part of a collection of creations by famous UK-based women, to be auctioned to charity.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Fendi Beats Headphones by Dr. Dre
Fendi Beats Headphones by Dr. Dre

For the first time ever, the maison uses drones in order to video record its fashion show in 2014. Later, the fashion house buys 49% of Taramax SA’s shares, a luxury-watches- specialized business. This action will allow them to have a more important presence in the luxury-watches market.

Celebrating 50 Years of Collaboration with Lagerfeld

In 2015, under the wings of Lagerfeld, Fendi presented their first “Haute Forrure” collection during couture week in Paris. Fendi’s internationally renowned line of fur helped to differentiate the brand form its competitors as one of the few designers with a full range of fur offerings.

Later, Fendi, with the help of, architect Mario Nanni, moved its headquarters into Palazzo Civilta Italiana, which was built in 1942, to celebrate the EXPO. Unfortunately, the event was never held, but the first floor of the new building has remained a dedicated space for contemporary art exhibitions.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Fendi Collection of Micro Bags for Spring/Summer 2015
Collection of Micro Bags for Spring/Summer 2015

In the same year, Fendi payed homage to its collaboration with Lagerfeld, celebrating the 50 years as creative director, with the book “Fendi by Karl Lagerfeld”featuring exclusivematerial telling an amazing story of heritage, creativity, and modernity. This is the longest relationship betweem a designer and a luxury fashion brand in the industry.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: The Book of Fendi by Karl Lagerfeld
The Book of Fendi by Karl Lagerfeld

In 2016 they completed the restoration and opening of Palazzo Fendi in Rome, on the corner of Via dei Condotti and Piazza di Spagna. The building hosts the Japanese multi-starred Zuma restaurant inside. At the 2nd floor, there are private apartments for celebrities, VIPs, and friends. At the 3rd floor, there is the Fendi hotel, which consists of 7 imperial suites. On the terrace of the last floor there is a lounge bar.

For their 90th anniversary, on July 7, 2016 they host their haute couture A/W 2016/2017 fashion show at the Trevi fountain (Rome), whose restoration has been supported by the Roman maison. Also, they hosted an exhibition, Fendi Roma- The Artisans of Dreams, to explain the production process of the fur and creativity elements.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Fendi Fashion Show at the Trevi Fountain
Fashion Show at the Trevi Fountain

Current Situation

Currently, the fashion house is performing strong with a turnover of more than €1 billion. With Pietro Beccari as CEO, and Carla Fendi, the only family member still involved with the company, chairman and president. Creative director’s Lagerfeld and Silvia continue to work side by side in the success of Fendi, remaining the only brand to have an in-house fur atelier.


Historic brand of men’s clothing, one of the symbols, in the post-war period, of the GFT group. established in 1953. It immediately became one of the main forces in the mass production of men’s clothing in Italy and Europe. Since then it has perfected a complete and diversified wardrobe, developing, since the 1970s, through the study of body sizes, an ability to satisfy the multiple requirements of wearability, offering a wide range of lengths and sizes. A custom-made service completes the variety of services offered to important customers. It is a semi-structured product, available in a wide range of personalized sizes, shapes, and heights, offered in many fabrics and styles. Through the use of pre-measured clothes and computer support with the production plants, the availability of “custom made” models is guaranteed within six days, and delivery in Italy within ten days. The heart and brains of the production are in the historic plant in Settimo Torinese. In operation since 1961 in response to growing demand resulting from the consumer boom, Settimo since then has had the record as the largest Italian and European production plant. That is where the first mass production in the history of men’s clothing got its start, with the manufacture of jackets and shirts. In Settimo Torinese, a thousand people are today employed. The Italian and foreign production is still planned there. Computer-designed models are created in this plant by a staff of 25 technicians who prepare 26 collections a year.
License agreement with Luciano Soprani for the production and distribution of men’s prêt-à-porter until 2010. Facis has 830 points-of-sale in Italy, and 320 abroad.
The Turin group GFT (Financial Textile Group), controlled by the holding company HDP, closes for good, selling its brands Facis, Valentino, and Sahzà.
After a long series of announcements and denials, 100% of Facis is sold to the Mediconf group of Palermo, owned by the Bucalo family, which is active in the production and distribution of men’s clothing in the Bucalo chain of stores. In 2002 their turnover was €130 million.
Relaunching of Facis at Pitti Uomo. The Autumn-Winter collection is by the Milanese designer Francesco Fiordelli (1963).


From the Provenµal word foulat, in French foulé, to indicate a fabric in silk, silk and cotton, or wool that is extremely light and cut in the shape of a square with a fairly wide base. It is an accessory that is sometimes indispensable, and never completely absent from the wardrobe, a small trifle in chiffon for a breast pocket, a big silk square to knot around the neck, large, in colors, rich in motifs woven on weft and warp, or printed in patterns, to be tied on a handbag or worn as a shawl around the shoulders. It is a very important item which adds to the prestige of even the most famous griffe. In France, those by Hermès, Dior, Saint-Laurent, Chanel, and Givenchy are famous. In Italy, the most prestigious ones are by Gucci, Ferragamo, and Roberta di Camerino, followed by all the great designers of ready-to-wear, from Mila Schön to Armani and Ferré. They are manufactured for the most part in Como, in workshops which also produce for themselves, according to designs created in-house, foulards that are admired for their very rich prints in floral, abstract, and geometric patterns that are obtained through a long process of many steps according to the number of colors selected.