18 - 19 May


Via Tortona 37, Milan
FREE ADMISSION: 11.00 am - 6.00 pm

FONDAZIONE GIANFRANCO FERRÉ opens its headquarters in Tortona, in a former industrial five-building compound that has been reimagined by Matteo Thun as the hreat of Milan’s creativity.
An endless, inestimable archive, a ‘never-ending story that’s always looking up to the future, as Ferré used to describe it. Carefully preserved and constantly enhanced, its story is told by the Fondazione’s passionate and expert director, Rita Airaghi

Open on Saturday and Sunday.


Ferré as a good architect works with matter, in this case textile, from his attention to materials come his intuitions the white shirts that transforms from basic object of the male wardrobe to instrument of female seduction, never ending in vulgarity but giving to them such a fairness that, although “architecturally” studied and realized, they seem to float like sails. He was strong in his relationship with Lombard artisans, and not only, for the realization of accessories, jewelery, bijoux, trimmings to embellish and emphasize his personal fashion idea. He was also the artistic director of Christian Dior, succeeding Marc Bohan in 1989, and returned to Italy after eight years to deal exclusively only with his company.

All this is today cataloged, preserved and accessible by the community at the Fondazione Gianfranco Ferré, founded in 2008, opened with the main purpose of storing, ordering and making available to the public – primarily as a virtual archive – all that documents the creative activity of the designer. This is complemented by the goal of promoting and carrying out initiatives that are relevant to the philosophy of Gianfranco Ferré, with its design culture, with its conception of fashion and aesthetics.
At present, the database is constantly updating and enriching, containing more than 80,000 documents, organized according to a structured, linear and articulated structure, based on thematic and chronological criteria.

The realization of a virtual archive with these features offers a heterogeneous audience the opportunity to know directly the work done by Gianfranco Ferré. It may be interesting for professionals and scholars, who deal with contemporary fashion, who work on the Italian product of the last thirty years, students who are studying fashion and design students. The relationship between Milan and the Gianfranco Ferré Foundation is very close: Gianfranco Ferré has studied and worked in Milan (also in collaboration with Christian Dior in Paris) and is in this city who has found the place and the inspiration for his profession. Milan is one of the international fashion centers and the Ferré Foundation, with its archive offers the city the opportunity to have a “place” where you can deepen the themes that have to do with different professional activities, with cultural changes interacting with fashion, style, and image.

Finally, the Foundation at the same time puts its heritage and activities at the disposal of the Institutions that in the city carry out training in the field of Fashion: from the universities that have enrolled undergraduate and master courses (Politecnico, Cattolica, Bocconi and IULM) to other structures ( IED and Domus Academy), without forgetting the state technical institutes and the professional courses organized by the Province and the Region.


Zona Tortona was once the largest industrial district near the city center, occupied by workshops, large steel plants and manufacturing properties.

Today it is an area that has changed its appearance, many existing spaces have been renewed, but still keeping the long and fascinating perspectives of the Milanese suburbs of the early twentieth century.

Zona Tortona is now a stronghold of creativity attended by an international audience and animated alla year round by initiatives, exhibitions and events that represent a huge strategic potential for relations and professional experiences.

The project, Tortona 37 by Matteo Thun & Partners, is a mixed-use development which consists of five buildings around a central courtyard with an ample tree-lined garden. It is part of the regeneration of the area, which is characterized by architecture with low environmental impact. It is a 28,500 sq m reclamation development on a former industrial site which has adopted advanced technologies for energy efficiency.

Each building is rectangular in shape and spans 6 levels, allowing four double ceiling heights for all its units. These double ceiling heights produce flexible, open space which achieves great functionality and versatility.

The white lattice façade is interspersed with large bow windows, which frame the ample windows to the inside of the development and also interconnects the various buildungs.