>> Cathy Horyn traces the faltering house of Ungaro and the resignation of former Ungaro CEO Mounir Moufarrige (the man responsible for hiring Lindsay Lohan), in the latest T magazine.
Three designers left under Moufarrige's reign, starting with Peter Dundas; tension reportedly built between the two when Moufarrige interfered with the creative side, Horyn reports: "The stylist George Cortina, who worked at Ungaro with Dundas, said, 'It was the worst experience I can remember,' recalling a 2 am scene when he warned Moufarrige, whom he found rearranging Dundas’s show lineup, that he would be thrown out a window if he continued meddling."
>> "Estrella Archs announces that she has left her job as chief designer of Emanuel Ungaro due to irreconcilable differences related to the creative direction of the brand," a spokesperson for the designer confirmed today. Archs's departure corroborates news that Ungaro is looking for a new designer.
Giles Deacon, who was spotted having lunch on Friday with Ungaro owner Asim Abdullah, has emerged as a likely possibility, although Ungaro declined comment. As of yesterday, sources told WWD a contract with a new designer had yet to be signed.
The brand is reportedly looking to have a more solid design direction and aims to achieve sustainability by 2011; a new designer would mark the fifth creative director for the brand in as many years.
>> 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]
Lindsay Lohan and Estrella Archs's First Emanuel Ungaro Collection for Spring 2010: The Reviews Are In (And Not Pretty)
>> Three weeks after they were tasked with designing the Spring 2010 Emanuel Ungaro collection, Estrella Archs and artistic advisor Lindsay Lohan took their runway bow — the former dragging the teary latter by the hand — yesterday to a beefed-up photographer's pit and an audience, many of whom just came because of the expected spectacle.
The result wasn't pretty: the collection's super-short minidresses and heart-shaped pasties peeking out of blazers and on the models' foreheads were ruled "a bad joke of a fashion show" by Style.com. Lohan's involvement was compared to "a McDonald’s fry cook taking the reins of a three-star Michelin restaurant" by the New York Times's Eric Wilson. Fabien Baron's take? "Call the fashion police!” And Harper's Bazaar's Glenda Bailey wouldn't even comment: “You know, if you don’t mind, I have to run out the door.” Even Dree Hemingway weighed in: "the first half might as well be alex wang last spring and i did see [Lohan] sporting that hot pink blazer of his..."
Lohan, who is reportedly being paid millions by Ungaro, called the show "the hardest thing I've ever done." Beforehand, she selected $150,000 worth of Ungaro clothes at the Paris flagship with CEO Mounir Moufarrige's blessing, supposedly cancelling an interview with Suzy Menkes. Some expect her to be gone before next season — even though she already said she was sketching for the next collection — but her contract is multiyear, and Moufarrige said his main goal in hiring her was to generate publicity, noting that he was suprised criticism hasn't been more negative. And even after the wave of bad reviews came out yeseterday, Ungaro's owner Asim Abdullah was defiant that either Lohan reignites the long-struggling Ungaro, or “we go down in a blaze of glory. Or unglory."