Italian Fashion Gianfranco Ferre enters Bankruptcy
Designer label Gianfranco Ferre has been put into special administration under the weight of financial pressure, along with its owner IT Holding, just a day before the label launches its new womenswear collection.
In a statement on Thursday, Italian Industry Minister Claudio Scajola said the move aimed "to safeguard the group and its ability to continue in business".
IT Holding is one of the first Italian listed companies to go into special administration in the global market crisis and its fate reflects not just the current credit crunch but also the impact of falling demand on luxury goods companies.
Besides Ferre, IT Holding also owns the Malo and Exte brands and its Ittierre unit distributes for Cavalli and Versace lines.
Ferre's founder died in 2007. He was known for his signature "architectural" style in suits and jackets and his trademark white shirts.
The label, one of Italy's best-known fashion lines, is now styled by Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi, from brand Malo. On Wednesday, Roberto Cavalli cancelled his Just Cavalli line show because of the uncertainty surrounding IT Holding.
Special administration is similar to U.S. Bankruptcy Law Chapter 11 filing, which aims to find ways to revive the business of companies in financial difficulties without closing them down, which would be a chapter 7 filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.