MILAN — Change is still in the air at Ungaro.

Following the arrival of a new owner and a new designer, the latest transformation at the French fashion house is the departure of Paolo De Spirt, its president and chief executive officer. De Spirt is expected to resign today, after Peter Dundas, Ungaro’s new creative director, unveils his first collection for the company.

De Spirt, who declined to comment Wednesday, is expected to stay until the end of the year as a consultant since a successor still isn’t in place.

De Spirt’s resignation would end a tenure that lasted just over two years and was marked by plenty of changes — and a string of designers, from media darling Gianbattista Valli to criticized Vincent Darré to newcomer Dundas. Last November, Gruppo Ferragamo sold Ungaro to San Francisco high-tech entrepreneur Asim Abdullah.

According to a source, “De Spirt is leaving to pursue different kinds of interests.”

The source indicated that De Spirt has completed most of his original mandate at Ungaro, which included finding a buyer for the brand and making sure the creative side was in good hands. When De Spirt joined in 2003, his mission was to relaunch the brand by focusing on its core business, boost its accessories division and identify strategic partners for production, distribution and licensing.

This story first appeared in the March 2, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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