Italian designer Gianfranco Ferre died in Milan yesterday of a brain hemorrhage, at age 62. Ferre became the top designer for Parisian fashion powerhouse Christian Dior, an honor almost exclusively reserved for French designers, in 1989. He left Dior in 1996 to build his own lines, which became some of the most critically successful in the world.
Ferre, nicknamed the "architect of fashion," held a degree in architecture which he avowedly applied to his clothing plans; he was famous for his simple, structured everyday wear and wide-skirted evening gowns. "He was a great couturier who knew how to create an absolute chic," said fellow designer Donatella Versace.