Wednesday, February 21st
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"I try to emphasize the personality and elegance of woman."
Alberta Ferretti, the famed Italian designer is known in some circles as Milan's Queen of Chiffon. Born and raised in Cattolica, Italy, Ferretti grew up in her mother’s atelier; learning to cut, sow and drape at an early age. At 18 years old, she opened her own boutique, Jolly Shop, in her hometown. There she sold designer brands like Armani and Versace alongside her own designs. By 1974 she had completed her first collection and in 1980 introduced her label, ‘Alberta Ferretti’. A year later in 1981, Ferretti showed her ready-to-wear collection on the runways of Milan, Italy. Her ultra-feminine cocktail dresses complete with a bias cut, empire waist and fluttery bolts of chiffon were an instant success and favorite amongst fashionistas. That same year, her brother, Mossimo, joined the business and together they formed the manufacturing company, Aeffe (which currently produces labels like Moschino, Jean Paul Gaultier and Narcisco Rodriguez). In 1984 she launched a second label, ‘Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti’; a younger, dressed down, more affordable line.
During the 1990s Alberta Ferretti’s success continued to grow with the opening of more boutiques along with the sale of her collections in upscale stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. Thanks to her goddess like evening gowns Ferretti quickly garnered a high profile clientele list including celebrities and fashion mavens Nicole Kidman, Uma Thurman, Julia Roberts, Selma Hayek, Debra Messing and Cate Blanchett. In 1994, Ferretti branched out of the fashion world and opened a hotel, the Palazzo Viviani; a renovated castle in the town of Montegridolfo, Italy. Over a decade later, in 2009, Ferretti yet again expanded her label to include a fragrance line; using supermodel Claudia Schiffer as the face of the campaign. Then two years later, her 2011 collection was shown during Italy’s Brandery Fashion show, a presentation held twice a year by Fira de Barcelona.
In 1991 Alberta Ferretti was named best female entrepreneur in the State of Emilia Romagna, Italy. In 1998, then Italian President, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro nominated Ferretti for the “Cavaliere del Lavoro”; or the Order of “Merit of Work”, an Italian knighthood awarded to those who carry considerable economic and social influence in the country. In the early 2000s she began work on films and even designed an outfit worn by Madonna in the movie “Swept Away”.