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Gianfranco Ferré was born in Legnano, northern Italy, on August 15 1944, he studied architecture in Milan before becoming a fashion designer. Ferré started out by working as a freelance designer, completing commissions for Lagerfeld and Fiorucci. In 1978 he showcased his first collection under his own name. Ferré has been awarded the Italian Fashion Oscar the 'Occhio D'Oro' six times, from 1984 to 1987. In 1989 he was made head of womenswear, couture and fur at Christian Dior. However, he left in 1996 to concentrate on his own label. 'The architect of fashion' as he became known passed away in 2007.