PARIS — Emanuel Ungaro SAS and Giles Deacon said Thursday that they have “mutually decided” to end their collaboration.
It is understood the spring-summer 2012 collection, to be paraded Oct. 3 at Salle Wagram, will reflect the work of the in-house team.
“We have a hugely talented design and merchant team in place to mine and further develop this heritage,” said Jeffry Aronsson, the American turnaround specialist who joined Ungaro as chief executive officer last June. “We are all aligned with and dedicated to our mission to prepare Mr. Ungaro’s legacy to be perpetuated.”
Aronsson, who has been ceo at Donna Karan International, Marc Jacobs International and Oscar de la Renta, has yet to elaborate on his strategy for the French house, founded in 1965 and synonymous with feminine frills, vibrant prints and the color fuchsia.
However, he told WWD, “We are all here to serve the brand in a modern way. I make new discoveries every day about the talent within these walls.”
Providing a glimpse of its future direction, during Fashion’s Night Out on Sept. 8, Ungaro presented a selection of groovy vintage jewelry from its archives, designed by the late artist Oskar Gustin for the house in the Sixties and Seventies.
Aronsson said the brand would strive to be both “modern and rooted in the past.”
London-based Deacon, who is slated to present his signature Giles line on Monday during London Fashion Week, presented two collections for Ungaro, recently steering the brand in a sexed-up direction.
Reached on Thursday, Deacon said: “I’ve been having some serious meetings with potential investors over recent months about developing the brand potential for Giles, especially in fine jewelry and accessories. Those talks are progressing well, and they are in advanced stages.”
In recent years, Ungaro has experimented with a range of rejuvenation formulas, including a short-lived attempt to jump-start the brand by installing tabloid sensation Lindsay Lohan as artistic adviser.
Entrepreneur Asim Abdullah has controlled the Ungaro brand since 2005, when he bought it from Salvatore Ferragamo. Since that time, its has seen an array of designers come and go: Vincent Darré, Peter Dundas, Esteban Cortazar and Estrella Archs, who had been hired to work beside Lohan.
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“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia