Gianfranco Ferré’s traveling exhibition may have hit a bump on its Milan leg, but the Foundation created to preserve the late designer’s aesthetic and cultural patrimony has secured another 2,000 archival pieces, purchasing them from the brand’s parent company, the Dubai-based Paris Group. “These are the best items, and complete looks, of which 200 are men’s wear,” said Rita Airaghi, Ferré’s cousin and director of the foundation, on Tuesday, at the organization’s headquarters in Milan. The foundation now counts a total of 3,000 items, also boosted by private donations, including Airaghi’s own, such as a white printed skirt from the designer’s first collection in 1978. “The archival property is quite substantial now,” said a pleased Airaghi, adding that her “beacon” is the Fondation Pierre Bergé- Yves Saint Laurent. Starting September, the pieces will be revived and restored. Airaghi said that Paris Group asked her to help catalogue their own pieces, which they have started to sell to collectors. “One of the Olsens twins [Ashley was wearing vintage Ferré at the Met gala, a gown from the spring/summer 1998 season,” she cited as an example.
As reported, the exhibit “La camicia Bianca secondo me. Gianfranco Ferré” (or “My idea of a white shirt. Gianfranco Ferré”) has been nixed by the board of the Italian Chamber of Fashion, despite the endorsement of the association’s chief executive officer Jane Reeve, but Airaghi was more upbeat about a potential unraveling of the situation, since a number of members of the Chamber voiced their displeasure about the veto. The exhibit was expected to be held in September during Milan Fashion Week.