UNGARO FLAGSHIP TO BOW IN N.Y.
Byline: Godfrey Deeny
PARIS — Emanuel Ungaro will open a flagship boutique in New York on Madison Avenue Wednesday, buoying a year of strong volume growth in the U.S. this year for the designer.
The 1,600-square-foot shop, at 792 Madison Ave. at 67th Street, will carry Ungaro’s Parallele and Solo Donna women’s ready-to-wear collections, plus accessories, leather goods, jewelry and perfumes, but not Ungaro’s diffusion line Emanuel.
Ungaro will own the majority of the store in a joint venture with Bonni Keller, who previously controlled the franchised Ungaro store at 803 Madison Ave., which closed this spring.
Emanuel Ungaro is expected to attend the official opening of the new boutique on Sept. 7, the day after he takes part in a Fashion Group show in the Armory on lower Lexington Avenue.
The new Manhattan store will be modeled on Ungaro’s Avenue Montaigne boutique in Paris, with beige and black inlaid marble floors, off-white carpeting and wide display cabinets. Carlo Valerio, managing director of Emanuel Ungaro, projected volume of $3 million for the store’s first 12 months.
“We’ve decided that it’s the right time to come to New York. We wanted a fuller presence and to show our retail clients our commitment to the American market,” Valerio said.
Ungaro now retails in Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s in New York.
“We are having a very good year. We will break $50 million wholesale in the U.S. in 1994. That’s up 21 percent from last year,” added Valerio, who attributed part of the success to Ungaro’s week-long trip to the U.S. this spring, plus a string of profitable trunk
Breaking down U.S. sales into the designer’s three main collections, Valerio said the top line, Parallele, will score $13 million in 71 retail venues in the U.S. this year, Solo Donna will post $3 million in 85 doors and Emanuel will do $35 million in 240 doors. All three lines are made under license with GFT; the top two are manufactured in Italy, and Emanuel is made in the Far East.
“We believe that 1995 could be the year of Solo Donna. It could rack up sales of $9 million in the U.S.,” said Valerio.
The U.S. market accounts for around 20 percent of Ungaro’s worldwide wholesale volume of about $250 million.
Valerio said there are no plans to reopen a franchised boutique in Los Angeles this spring.
“Is any designer boutique making money on the West Coast? I doubt it,” said Valerio. He added that Ungaro was “considering” opening a men’s store in the U.S., but gave no time frame.
Ungaro also announced the appointment of Pierfilippo Pieri as director of international press relations. Pieri had previously worked with Genny USA and Byblos USA as director of public relations and marketing. He will also oversee Ungaro’s ad campaigns.