MILAN — The first Emanuel Ungaro collection designed by Italian designer Fausto Puglisi will be unveiled today with a runway show at the Chamber of Commerce venue in Paris.
“It’s a fantastic brand with an international charm, and an incredible fame — there is a strong request for the label and room for it in the market,” said Massimo Ferretti, chairman of Italian apparel manufacturer Aeffe SpA, which tapped Puglisi in September to relaunch the top line. After previous unsuccessful attempts prior to Aeffe to rejuvenate the Ungaro brand, Ferretti said the turnaround starts with a clean slate.
“There were two seasons of gap, nothing was on the market, and there is no memory of previous efforts,” contended Ferretti. “It’s an international label with Italian roots, quality and know-how, and we will keep its historical headquarters in Paris.”
Ferretti noted that the target is to reach 250 stores in the first season.
The entrepreneur turned to Puglisi believing in his talent to reinterpret Ungaro’s style and spirit while renovating it as a contemporary and international brand, positioning it in the high-end range of the market. Couture is not in the cards at the moment, he said.
“When I asked Fausto to provide ideas, he came to me with a book of sketches, already projected into the future,” said Ferretti.
Puglisi hardly sits still at the Aeffe offices here, clearly brimming with energy. “I am super-excited; I love the Seventies and Ungaro, with [Gianni] Versace, [Thierry] Mugler and [Christian] Lacroix. It’s an aesthetic I’ve always found fascinating,” said Puglisi, who will continue to design his own namesake collection, launched in 2010.
While declining to reveal details about the fall collection, he conceded he has reworked iconic looks and Ungaro’s “polka dots, trenches and knits.” But retro is not part of his vocabulary. “The lineup is contemporary,” he said.
Asked to describe the collection, Puglisi said: “Woman, woman. Emanuel Ungaro was one of the few heterosexual designers. He loved women, and his looks were never vulgar; they were seductive while respectful of women. Sometimes today you see designs that are either for the untouchable nun or for a prostitute.”
Ferretti said he’d heard positive comments on the new course of the brand by its founder, Emanuel Ungaro. “First I have to prove my skills; I have huge respect for him,” said Puglisi of potentially communicating with the retired couturier.
While technically a license for the global production and distribution of the brand’s women’s clothing and accessories under the Emanuel Ungaro moniker, Ferretti defined the agreement as a “partnership” with Ungaro owner Asim Abdullah, a San Francisco-based high-tech entrepreneur, and his investment vehicle Aimz. Aeffe has the option to acquire a significant minority share of Ungaro’s capital stock on achieving shared goals, but not before 2020. The agreement will be active for seven years, with the option to renew for another seven.
“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
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast