It looks like Gianfranco Ferré's spot on the corner of Madison and 71st won't be empty for long. Ferré has reportedly sold the lease for $3 million to Christian Dior.
Ferré, many may recall, was the first designer to replace Dior's longtime couturier Marc Bohan in 1989. He designed the house's Haute Couture and Prêt à Porter collections for eight years to acclaim and success, but was ultimately eclipsed by the hoopla over John Galliano's arrival at the brand.
Now Ferré is ceding its Prime spot to Dior.
Our guess is that the 57th Street Dior boutique will remain, and the new location will be an additional door, mirroring the strategies of Gucci, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent and several other luxury brands who maintain a midtown showplace for tourists as well as a quieter, more genteel location for serious Upper East Side customers. After all, Dior owns the midtown tower that currently houses its boutiques through LVMH.
As for Ferré, they insist that business on Madison was good, but they are looking for a different direction for the label's upcoming repositioning. So far, there's no news or rumors concerning where that might be.
Gianfranco Ferre sells UES lease to Dior (The Real Deal)