MILAN – Anna Piaggi had her quirky style, blue hair and bold makeup, Franca Sozzani her long angelic blonde hair, and Giusi Ferré was unmistakable with her layers of silk capes, spiky red hair and on-trend jewelry. Like her peers, Ferré, who died on the night of April 14 at the age of 75 after a long illness, has contributed for decades to tell the story of Italian and international fashion, becoming a point of reference in the sector.
Ferré developed his career writing for magazines such as Epoca and L’Europeo. He held the role of co-editor of Amica and went on to write his own column, “Banana Peel [banana peel]”For the weekly Io Donna, published by Corriere della Sera, commenting on the styling mistakes of celebrities. The columns later became a book by Rizzoli.
He wrote the book “Giorgio Armani. The Radical Sex “in 2015 and on Friday the designer said:” Dear Giusi, you have been a friend, discreet and loyal. I will miss your depth of sensitivity, through which you have been able to tell my thoughts and my work. And I will miss your irony, your critical spirit and your tinkling laugh ”.
She was also a friend of Gianfranco Ferré, to whom she was not related, repeating it over and over again. It was an easy mistake, given their physical similarity, said Rita Airaghi, cousin of the late designer and longtime collaborator who created the Gianfranco Ferré Foundation.
Born in Milan on December 16, 1946, the writer and the stylist were only two years apart and “they understood each other, they shared problems related to their imposing physique and made fun of each other about this. Gianfranco also suggested dietary advice: he had a strong sense of humor “, recalled Airaghi.” It was very special, I am deeply saddened, it is another piece of my life that disappears and Gianfranco and I shared with her many moments of our I’ve been walking since the mid-1970s. She had a fashion understanding that was truly unique. She was enlightened, her words were razor-sharp, clear and precise, she was enormously cultured and polite and quoted and referred to any author with a surprising ease. Her passion has become an example for the next generation of journalists, who see her as a mentor and a teacher. “
Giorgio Re, a communications specialist and member of Gianfranco Ferré’s former press office, recalled one of his oddities, because he refused to use a computer and continued to work with a typewriter. He also recalled how the designer, who passed away in 2007, and the journalist were linked by “a strong affection and shared a lively intellectual exchange, both being equally frank with each other. His culture was expansive and he always added sociological and cultural reflections to his comments on fashion. She was very strict with his work, but she had a strong sense of irony and a good spontaneous laugh. “
“We are all very shocked and moved, the magazine was born with Giusi,” said Danda Santini, editor-in-chief of Io Donna. “Her column has always been a favorite of our readers. She was an exceptional collaborator, always on time … and with razor-sharp writing skills, “she said. “He could easily play ping-pong between fashion, culture and lifestyle [subjects]. She was bright and cultured, but at the same time she could be very light, witty and self-deprecating, which is not always typical in our industry. As sharp as she was professionally, she was lovely, she always smiled and laughed. “
In 2007, in the first of the four seasons of the television program “Italia’s Next Top Model”, the local edition of the American cult franchise hosted by Tyra Banks, Ferré and Santini were both judges and the latter recalled how the expert journalist was “objective in her judgments, but always tormented when it came to eliminating a young future model with big dreams and ambitions; this was a testament to his strong empathy.
“I met Giusi at the beginning of my career at Versace. She was already established and I was only 19 and I saw her as a point of reference ”, said Emanuela Schmeidler, founder of the Milanese communication agency ES_PR. “She was a great writer, she listened and reinterpreted like few others. She always had a vision, no matter what her pen expressed her. Today this vision lives on among young writers who share this passion for the written word. When there was a need for quality of thought, Giusi was always in the first place. I had a lot of respect for her, for how she dealt with the hardships of her life, and she was a true friend of hers. A piece written by Giusi has always been a privilege ».
– With the contribution of Martino Carrera