>> Owner: Ungaro Not for Sale— Despite reports yesterday that Asim Abdullah, owner of Emanuel Ungaro, is looking for a buyer, Abdullah says not so. “It’s absolutely not true. The company is not for sale. We are not entertaining any conversations with anyone about the sale of the company." The brand recently terminated its lease on its Madison Avenue store in New York, trading for a smaller boutique to open next month. Abdullah acknowledged that his goal is to make the brand "sustainable" by 2011. [WWD]
It was a media doozy last year when fashion darling Esteban Cortezar left Ungaro, and the house hired Lindsay Lohan as its "artistic advisor." Now, one questionable Spring collection later, the celebrity designer has confirmed she is no longer with the fashion house. When asked why she wasn't present at Ungaro's Fall '10 runway show this week, Lohan responded, “Because I don’t work for them anymore. There's legal things going on; I can’t really discuss it." Ungaro owner Asim Abdullah also commented stating, "She's not involved in this [Fall '10] collection." Looks like it's the end of the road for Lohan and Ungaro — are you surprised?
>> Lindsay Lohan Confirms She Is No Longer with Ungaro —Yesterday, when Lindsay Lohan was a no-show at Emanuel Ungaro, the label's owner noted backstage it was because she wasn't involved at all with the Fall 2010 collection. According to reports, Lohan was dismissed sometime this week, and yesterday in Kenzo's front row, she confirmed that she wasn't invited to the show “because I don’t work for them anymore.” When asked for more specifics, she replied: “There’s legal things going on; I can’t really discuss it.” [WWD]
>> After making front row appearances at John Galliano, Viktor & Rolf, and Christian Dior over the weekend, Lindsay Lohan failed to turn up at the Emanuel Ungaro show in Paris this morning.
It was expected beforehand, according to WWD's sources in Paris, that Lohan, who was named artistic advisor at Ungaro last year, would pull a no-show, leaving Ungaro chief designer Estrella Archs to take her bow alone this season. And backstage before the show, Ungaro owner Asim Abdullah noted of Lohan's absence: "She's not involved in this collection." He declined further comment.
Fashion Week Daily is reporting that Lohan was dismissed from Ungaro sometime this week, and wasn't invited to the show.
It was a tumultuous year for the house of Ungaro. It started off strong with wunderkind Esteban Cortazar as its creative director. The designer left nothing to the imagination during his tenure at Ungaro, creating hit after hit. Sadly, things headed south when the house decided to enlist Lindsay Lohan as its artistic advisor. Consequently, and with much drama, Esteban resigned from his post and left Ungaro at the mercy of Lohan and chief designer Estrella Archs. The rest is fashion history. Take a walk with me through the best and worst of Ungaro . . .
>> There's been plenty of chatter about how long Lindsay Lohan would be staying on in her post as artistic advisor at Emanuel Ungaro, but it turns out she's not the first major casualty, after all. Instead, in a turn of events, Mounir Moufarrige, CEO and president of Ungaro since 2006 and the man who brought Lohan and design partner Estrella Archs on board at the brand, has resigned. Lohan, meanwhile, WWD reports, is staying on.
Replacing Moufarrige is Marie Fournier, the new general manager overseeing all operations, who is an 18-year Ungaro veteran and most recently VP of business development and licensing. Moufarrige will continue to advise Ungaro as a part of a strategic committee, according to the company's statement, but is "withdrawing" to devote more time to his other businesses.
“There are some girls out there that whenever they move, whatever they wear, they attract attention, even if they make mistakes. It’s all publicity,” Moufarrige said on the sidelines of a luxury conference in Milan. “We’ve got a celebrity and it’s a new concept, which we’re going ahead with.”
“[Ungaro], let’s recognize it, was a dormant brand, and now everybody’s talking about it today, so the level of awareness has improved greatly,” he added.
>> Despite her critically panned debut collection for Ungaro Spring 2010 — which caused the label to be dropped from Neiman Marcus and Net-a-Porter (Barneys and Saks haven't carried it for a few seasons) — Lindsay Lohan will be continuing as artistic advisor, Ungaro president and CEO Mounir Moufarrige said earlier today. "Yes (she's staying on), she has a job to do."
Moufarrige told Reuters that the collection is selling well but not as much as expected: "There is more buzz definitely but we are in a recession." He added of the media snipes: "The criticism was harsh. I am sure we can do better in the collection to be honest but I think it was harsh . . . But it did sell well."
As for future collections from Lohan and design partner Estrella Archs, he needs them to "more tight, more identity driven." And of Emanuel Ungaro, who was recently quoted calling Lohan's collaboration "a disaster," Moufarrige quipped: "Mr. Ungaro has his views, he can keep them. I have no comment.".
You weren't the only one hating Lindsay Lohan and Estrella Arch's heart pasties: Emanuel Ungaro despised them, too. The designer, who parted ways with his namesake label back in 2005, has kept mum about the collaboration — until now. In a recent press conference, Ungaro stated, "Lindsay Lohan's collaboration was a disaster. I am furious but I can't do anything about it."
Ungaro continues, stating that the Paris fashion house "is in the process of losing its soul. That happens to a lot of designers. We were the creators and patrons, responsible for the creation and destiny of our houses. But when we gave up our houses, we gave up our souls," said the designer. Sad.