Originally Posted by rach2jlc
Oh, Ferre is back... or was. He had a lull for a long time, though continued to make very interesting things. It was poorly marketed and distributed, and ludicrously expensive, and not at all in line with the minimal chic of Prada, or the "sexy" chic of Gucci, so 1999-2007 or so, Ferre largely got eclipsed (except, strangely, for one season in AW06 when he did a phenomenal men's collection that got some attention).
Ferre died in 2007 and two new designers took over, who have done some really wonderful collections and are putting it back on the map. HOWEVER, the prices stayed the same (i.e. more than Gucci, Prada, etc., between RTW and couture), and the distribution became even scarcer. Thus, it's hard stuff to find and shockingly expensive (like, say $10,000 for a padded leather jacket, $1200 for pants, and $3000 for a leather messenger bag.)
There was also a period in the 1980's and 1990's where Ferre overlicensed, and they produced some really awful shit. This still gets sold on ebay and such a lot, and so the image was fairly diluted (GFF, Oaks Ferre, Ferre jeans, etc.)
Mainline Ferre was, and is, amazing stuff. Imagine floor length crocodile coats with pagoda shoulders and couture construction.
In the 1980's, though, fashion was all about the three "G"s... Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani, and Gianfranco Ferre. Interesting to see that, really, only Armani has survived as a "major" player. Versace and Ferre have a decent name, but probably 1/100 the sales.
I know they shut down their NYC store at certain point, and I think Saks and Fifth use to carry them, but not anymore. Got a DB from them back in 2003, the pants are double pleated, but the fits are still awesome. One of the few pleat pants I still own.