PARIS — The changes at Emanuel Ungaro just keep coming.
This story first appeared in the April 26, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The French firm has mothballed its men’s runway collection and is amicably parting with its men’s wear designer, Franck Boclet, after a three-year collaboration.
In an interview at Ungaro headquarters Friday, Boclet, also the former designer of Francesco Smalto, told WWD he plans to launch an eponymous men’s wear line. Boclet said he inked a deal with an undisclosed Italian industrial partner to create his own label and plans to unveil it at a presentation here during men’s fashion week in June.
“I wanted to focus on basic luxury items at an interesting price point,” said Boclet, who noted he owns a minority share in the newly created fashion firm, Franck Boclet Sarl.
The largely black-and-white collection, already taking shape, boasts tailored clothing and sportswear priced around 20 percent below other luxury men’s wear labels on the market, according to Boclet. The designer, known for his sharp tailoring with a twist of rock ’n’ roll, added he will also offer made-to-measure services with key retail partners.
While distribution plans are yet to be determined, Boclet said he would first focus on China, the Middle East and Russia, followed by France and the United States.
“Retailers in China, the Middle East and Russia are more willing to invest in new collections, whereas Europe, Japan and the United States can wait up to three seasons before placing an order with a new brand,” explained Boclet, adding he expects to generate wholesale volume of 1 million euros, or $1.3 million at current exchange, in the first year.
A women’s collection could be in the works for as early as next year, too.
A spokeswoman for Ungaro said the firm would concentrate on its licensed men’s wear lines and did not rule out an eventual relaunch of a runway collection.
Emanuel Ungaro parted with its women’s artistic adviser Lindsay Lohan last October and, more recently, its chief women’s designer, Estrella Archs. The house is trolling for a new creative director and has been in talks with London-based designer Giles Deacon.