Emanuel Ungaro (13 February 1933 – 21 December 2019) was a French fashion designer, who founded the fashion house that bears his name in 1965.[2]

Emanuel Ungaro
Taormina film festival 2009, emmanuel ungaro.jpg
Emanuel Ungaro(2009)
Born(1933-02-13)13 February 1933[1]
Died21 December 2019(2019-12-21) (aged 86)
Paris, France
House of Emanuel Ungaro
AwardsLegion D'honneur

Early lifeEdit

Ungaro's Italian father fled to France from Francavilla Fontana of Brindisi province because of the fascist dictatorship in Italy. Ungaro's father was a tailor and he gave his son a sewing machine when he was young.[1]

The House of Emanuel UngaroEdit

At the age of 22, Ungaro moved to Paris. Three years later he began designing for the House of Cristóbal Balenciaga[2] for three years before quitting to work for Courrèges. Four years later, in 1965 with the assistance of Swiss artist Sonja Knapp and Elena Bruna Fassio, Ungaro opened his own fashion house in Paris.

Ungaro launched his first menswear collection, Ungaro Uomo, in 1973, and his first perfume, Diva, 10 years later in 1983. Ungaro was a participant in The Battle of Versailles Fashion Show held on November 28, 1973. Later followed the perfumes Senso (1987), Ungaro (1991) and Emanuel Ungaro For Men (1991). In 1996, he formed a partnership with Salvatore Ferragamo.[2][3] In 1997, Ungaro, Ferragamo and Bulgari created a new company: Emanuel Ungaro Parfums. The new perfumes to follow were Fleur de Diva (1997), Desnuda (2001) and Apparition (2004).

In the late 1970s, fashion journalist Michael Roberts, when opening a Sunday column in The Times, said "Emanuel Ungaro has a great charm. He wears it around his neck."[4]

In 2005, Ungaro retired and sold the label to internet entrepreneur Asim Abdullah for US$84 million.[1][5][2]

After the sale, the label languished with a revolving door of designers, the last of which, Esteban Cortazar, who was appointed in 2007, was fired two years later after his refusal to work with actress Lindsay Lohan. Subsequently, Lohan was appointed Artistic Director, working with new head designer Estrella Archs, who was hired hastily to replace Cortazar. The introduction of Lohan, which was meant to give the label publicity, was received with shock and dismay in Paris Fashion Week 2009.[6] In 2010, during Paris Fashion Week, Lindsay Lohan announced that she was no longer working for or with Ungaro, and that she could not comment on the matter because of legal issues. Her work was heavily criticized[7] and soon after the fashion house was looking for a buyer.[8]

In 2009, the label had sales of about $200 million from fragrance and less-expensive lines sold in Asia, but the runway collection has been losing money for years.[6] In April 2010, it was announced that Archs had been dismissed and British designer Giles Deacon would be taking over as creative director.[5][9]

In 2012, the Italian company Aeffe took over the production and distribution of Ungaro products.[10] In September 2012, Fausto Puglisi was named creative director of Ungaro, and the brand announced its comeback to the Paris Fashion Week.[11] In 2015, Ungaro launched a smart ring that, connected to a phone, dimly lights up when a selected few contacts call.[12] In March 2017, Fausto Puglisi was replaced by Marco Colagrossi (formerly women's wear at Giorgio Armani) as creative director of Ungaro.[13]


In 2008, Avon and Emanuel Ungaro collaborated to launch a new duo of fragrances, U by Ungaro for Her and U by Ungaro for Him. Actress Reese Witherspoon served as the scents' spokewoman.

Personal lifeEdit

In 1988, Ungaro married Laura Bernabei. He has a daughter, Cosima Ungaro, born in Neuilly, but her birthdate has been kept a secret.[14][15]


  1. ^ a b c d Milligan, Lauren (19 April 2010). "Emanuel Ungaro Biography". Vogue. Condé Nast Publications. Archived from the original on 18 July 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d Brown, Mark (22 December 2019). "French fashion designer Emanuel Ungaro dies aged 86". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
  3. ^ Amy Barrett, Ferragamo's Expansion Will Test Family Values, Wsj.com, 10 July 1997
  4. ^ Willian Norwich, Michael Roberts, Author of The Jungle ABC, Observer.com, 23 March 1998
  5. ^ a b "Giles at Ungaro – It's official!". Grazia. Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. 26 April 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  6. ^ a b Wilson, Eric (5 October 2009). "A Controversial Debut for Lohan in Paris". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  7. ^ Lindsay Lohan ends collaboration with fashion designer Emanuel Ungaro, Telegraph.co.uk, 9 March 2010
  8. ^ James Covert, Emanuel Ungaro abandons boutique; eyes buyer, Nypost.com, 25 March 2010
  9. ^ Alexander, Hilary (21 April 2010). "Giles Deacon for Emanuel Ungaro?". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  10. ^ Suzy Menkes, Ungaro's Latest Revival, Nytimes.com, 24 September 2012
  11. ^ Sarah Karmali, Emanuel Ungaro Names Creative Director, Vogue.co.uk, 24 September 2012
  12. ^ Sophie Charara, Emanuel Ungaro smart ring, powered by Omate, takes care of VIP alerts, Wareable.com, 11 August 2015
  13. ^ Joelle Diderich, Emanuel Ungaro Switches Designer, Takes Production In-house, Wwd.com, 6 March 2017
  14. ^ Susan Heller Anderson, Chronicle, Nytimes.com, 26 June 1990
  15. ^ https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50886433

Further readingEdit

  • Morris, Bernadine. "Review/Design:When America Stole The Runway From Paris Couture".The New York Times 10 Sep 1993.

External linksEdit