Gianfranco Ferre 88 298.
(photo credit: AP)
Gianfranco Ferre, the Italian designer known as the "architect of fashion" for his structured, sculpted shapes and for his groundbreaking tenure at Christian Dior, died Sunday, a hospital said. He was 62.
Ferre was taken to the San Raffaele hospital in Milan on Friday after suffering a massive brain hemorrhage.
Condolences from Italy's top designers poured in as word of his death spread - just days before the menswear spring-summer 2008 collections were to get underway in Milan later this week.
Ferre started his career as an accessories and jewelry designer, and then moved on to clothes. His unofficial title as Italy's architect of fashion came thanks to the degree in architecture he obtained in 1969 from Milan's Polytechnic Institute which inspired his designs.
He started his own company in the mid-1970s, but his major leap came in 1989, when he was tapped by Bernard Arnault to be the top designer for Christian Dior. At the time, it was almost unheard of for a non-French designer to take the reins of the venerable Parisian house. Ferre stayed on at Dior until the fall of 1996, when he returned to Milan to tend to his own men's and women's collections.
He is survived by a brother and sister-in-law, as well as a cousin, Rita Airaghi, who served as his longtime assistant.