Italian Label Gianfranco Ferre May Become An American-Owned Brand

If all goes accordingly, the Italian fashion house Gianfranco Ferre may soon become an American-owned brand. The prestigious label which takes its place among other longstanding Italian names such as Fendi and Missoni has been struggling financially since the death of its namesake designer three years ago, however a group of investors, led by a U.S. private equity firm, is close to reaching a deal to purchase the brand for approximately 18 million euros, according to the NY Times.

Led by the NYC-based firm Prodos Capital Management, other investors in the deal would also include a Greek shipping company. The WSJ, which also recently reported on the potential purchase notes that should the bid be approved by the Italian government, Ferré, which has been under bankruptcy protection since early 2009, would be "the first major fashion label felled by the economic crisis to come out the other end of restructuring."

Although a major stipulation in the deal would include keeping all Gianfranco Ferre's employees and production in Italy, there's no word yet on whether Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi, the Milan-based label's current designers, will stay on.

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