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,
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 ;
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
20 y earsof photographin clothes, Fabrizio Ferri
an eye for what makesthem work. Sowhen he
from behind the
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
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-
Mlle: And your frst piece was a simple
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
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. . . .
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'
Ferri: We make the clothing-and not
from a sketch; I don't want to do anY
sketches, don't want to seear'ysketch-
esl We make the samples the basisof
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
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?
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
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-