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Industria Superstudio owner and famed fashion photographer Fabrizio Ferri talks to Nancy Angiello about his clothing line.

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  1. 1. In d u s t r ia c om bin e s g o rgeous f or m wit h p ra ct ic al f unc t io n . Se enher e on Car 16 0 ti s: awr ap s k ir t th a t doubles as a sh a wl; aneas y s hi rt d o n e up in a r ic hly a p p oint ed f abr ic . Op pos it e: S ar ong , $ 1 2 7 , ands hir t , $ 1 7 3 , of was heds i l k . C h ris t opher ' s En te r pr is es n e ck lic e. T his pa g e : Sweat er , of wool, $184. Makeupfrom Est6 eLauder . Hai r, th e s e t wo pages an d n e xt page, by M on i c a Co p pola f or A ldo Co p pola/ L' 0r 6a1 ; makeupby Moyra Mu l holland. F or d e tails , s t or es , Be a ut y S pec i f ic s , se e SHO P . Ph o t ogr apher : Fa b r iz io F er r i ": i, new focus g 20 y earsof photographin clothes, Fabrizio Ferri an eye for what makesthem work. Sowhen he from behind the
  2. 2. The fashion angle In the middle of NYC's meat-packing district, where the streets are narrow, truck-filled and noisy, standsthe anom- aly that is Industria Superstudio. Con- verted from an old Rolls-Royce garage, this vast sffucture housesthe Ferri em- pire: five photography studios, a hot lit- tle Italian restaurant and the Industria clothing showroom. There, we spoke with the man behind it aL. Mlle: Why did you decideto go into the fashionbusiness? Ferri: Well, when there is an economic crisis like there is now, the only way of gettingout ofit is ifpeople haveenough guts to createsomethingthat fits into the needsof this moment. Mlle: What did you think was needed? Ferri: Now, there is a little pretentious- nessin what I am sayngllaughsl, but I hope you will understand-some friends and I started thinking, and we worked out a list of clothes that we want- ed to wear but could never find. . . . Mlle: Like what? Ferri: We wantedthe clothesto be easy, comfortable, well priced and of excel- lent fabrics. Mlle: And your frst piece was a simple navy T-shirt? Ferri: Yes, I wanted one with a good fit and in a good cotton. And you know, this seemslike a simple matter, but then if you want to buy it, you really don't know where to go. So I had one made, and then kept going until we had made 300 otherpieces. Mlle: You say the clothes are "well priced." Doesthat meaninexpensive? Ferri: They're reasonableif you know what you're buying. If you know what a good cashmere sweater is supposedto cost, thenthey're very well priced. Mlle: Can you give us someexamples? Ferri: Okay. The cashmeresweater, for example, is $560. Now this is a huge sweater,and excellentcashmere. Shirts go from about$85 to $3fi). The jackets are$320 to $700. Mlle: Tell us a little more about what's intheline. . . .
  3. 3. Ferri: Everything is in the very best fab- rics, and we do the exact same silhou- ettes each season,so what you like in silk or suede,you can get later, say, in poplin or silk linen. Mlle: You oncesaid, "I'm not a design- er-that would be pretentious.' So who' designsIndustria? Ferri: We make the clothing-and not from a sketch; I don't want to do anY sketches, don't want to seear'ysketch- I esl We make the samples the basisof on a good talk. Tt re are some values that needto be discoveredagain, and one of them is the power of the word, coillmu- nication. If you can't exPlain what you're doing, it meansyou don't know whatyou're doing. Mlle: How doesthis make a difference in the clothing? Ferri: Clothes suffer a trauma when they staft out as a drawing, which is a flat pieceofpaper. The sketchis alwaysof a perfectly slim woman, with almost no shoulders,almostno waist, the narrow- esthips ever. So whereis the fit? Mlle: But is therea "type" of customer you do havein mind? . Ferri: Well, it seemsmore fair to saythat there is a need in the market for clothes that are comfortable, but that doesn't mean they have to be tastelessor ulffa- casual,like an army-surplus thing. Mlle: And the response beengood? has Ferri: Very good. I always thought that Americans, more than anYbodYelse, t would understand this concept: They can grasp the practicality ofbeing chic yet simple at the sametime. Mlle: Switching back to your other ca- reer, how hasyour fashionphotography exoerience uencedIndustria? infl Ferri: What a good photographer does when he shootsfashion is actually make the clothes look better. You have to drapethem on the model, work to make them fit better. Also, you look for the best angles from which to photograph them. So in 20 years of photographing fashion every day, you get a good eYe fo r shapes , and f or g o o d a n d b a d clothes.I know what the problemsare. Mlle: Your style of photographyis very cleanand uncluttered,so it's interesting to seehow that samestyle showsup in yourclothing. . . . Ferri: That's what I am: I'm uncluttered, simple. That's why my photographyis like that. That's why my clothes are like that, too. Good photographers their put life into their pictures;so if you describe my photographslike that (andl like your using those words), you are really talk- ins aboutme.