Despite widespread speculation to the contrary — and a scathing reaction to her first effort — Lindsay Lohan is continuing on at Ungaro as the fashion house’s artistic adviser, while the man who recruited her, company president Mounir Moufarrige, has resigned, WWD has learned.
Ungaro named Marie Fournier its new general manager to oversee all operations. An 18-year veteran of the company, Fournier was previously Ungaro’s vice president in charge of business development and licensing. Before that, she had an eight-year career at Christian Dior.
In a brief statement, Ungaro said Moufarrige, who has served as president since 2006, would continue to advise the company as a member of its strategic committee, but that he was “withdrawing” from an operational role to devote more time to his other businesses, which include U-Boat and Welder, two fast-growing Italian watch companies.
“It’s my decision. It’s not a total departure, except for operational duties,” Moufarrige told WWD exclusively.
He waved off suggestions of discord with Ungaro’s majority owner, Asim Abdullah, and noted his decision “has nothing to do with Lindsay Lohan at all.…The strategy is set for Ungaro and that’s it.”
Abdullah, a high-tech entrepreneur who acquired Ungaro in 2005 from Salvatore Ferragamo, declined to comment Wednesday.
Moufarrige tapped Lohan as artistic adviser in September in a risky bid to jump-start rejuvenation at a house wracked by a revolving door of designers and lackluster collections. He teamed her with Spanish-born designer Estrella Archs.
“Odds are it could work,” Moufarrige said in these columns in September. “I think the noise level around Lindsay will be very, very big.”
He was right about the noise. His exit comes only a few months after Lohan and Archs showed a spring collection during Paris Fashion Week that set off a cacophony of reactions from critics and retail buyers that ranged from “very Los Angeles” to “cheesy” to “truly, deeply horrible.” There had been numerous reports Abdullah was thinking of getting rid of Lohan as a result of the negative reaction, none of which appear to be true at this stage.
At Ungaro, Lohan and Archs succeeded Bogotá, Colombia-born Esteban Cortazar, whose three collections for the house failed to ignite much commercial or press interest in the brand.
Peter Dundas, who is now the designer at Emilio Pucci; Vincent Darré, now devoted to a signature furniture line, and Giambattista Valli, pursuing a signature label with Italy’s Mariella Burani Fashion Group, came before Cortazar as Ungaro designers following the retirement of its founding couturier in 2004.
Moufarrige is known for making unexpected decisions, most famously for choosing Stella McCartney, then 25, to succeed Karl Lagerfeld as head designer of Chloé in 1997. He had a long career at Chloé parent Compagnie Financière Richemont, including stints at Dunhill and Montblanc.
On Wednesday, he suggested he was eyeing additional business opportunities in watches and jewelry.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)