Ferragamo Sells Ungaro
By Alessandra Ilari and Miles Socha
PARIS — Another French fashion house has come under American ownership.
Emanuel Ungaro said Thursday that Gruppo Ferragamo signed an agreement to sell 100 percent of the company to San Francisco-based high-tech entrepreneur Asim Abdullah.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Abdullah, while new to the fashion industry, plans to swiftly put his imprint on a brand synonymous with feminine opulence and the color fuchsia. Ungaro president and chief executive officer Paolo Di Spirt, who will continue in his role, said Abdullah is prepared to invest in the company and even relaunch the couture, possibly with a new designer.....
The level of debt is believed to be in the range of $25 million.
Salvatore Ferragamo bought Ungaro in 1996 when the brand, especially the Emanuel/Emanuel Ungaro bridge collection, was riding high. In 1997, designer Giambattista Valli was hired to work aside the couturier. He was named creative director in 1998 and took the reins from Ungaro in 2001.
Although Valli ultimately became a darling of the press, the road to rejuvenation has not been an easy one for the house. In 2003, Di Spirt was named ceo with an intent to relaunch the brand and focus on its core women's and men's ready-to-wear and accessories businesses, while also identifying strategic partners for production, distribution and licensing. Di Spirt replaced Valli with Moschino alum Vincent Darré, who has presented two rtw collections for the house. Di Spirt said on Thursday that the house would stage its next rtw show in March, but not necessarily with Darré. "Obviously, we've had hiccups," Di Spirt said, referring to poor reviews for Darré's debut collection. "We are looking at possible candidates and alternatives. We hope to work very much on the product."
"It is not money that makes you well dressed: it is understanding."
that would be just great if it really turned out like this! i LOVE ungaro couture, always did. i just hope this relationship - again, investing entrepreneur and fashion house - will work out, we already had too many disappointments in the past (think, helmut lang).......
__________________ "he waited for other people to understand what he was doing, instead of doing what they wanted. Balenciaga never compromised."
Thanks for posting soft it would be interesting if they got a new designer in...
It's really strange though, I had a dream last night and I was asking my friend if she'd chosen a designer (it's a project I'm doing in real life, though she's not on the course) She was saying something and it sounded like Ungaro with other words mixed in...she was saying 'abarungar' 'ungabro', maybe I was having a preminition in the end I was like 'you mean Ungaro?' Sorry that's really off-topic.
PARIS (AFP) - French luxury fashion brand Emanuel Ungaro has been sold by Italian group Salvatore Ferragamo to a US-based high-tech entrepreneur, the Paris-based brand announced in a communique.
The Ungaro brand -- among the better known luxury clothing labels in the world -- was acquired by the Ferragamo group in 1996.
Pakistan-born Asim Abdullah, 42, a novice in the world of fashion, made his fortune in the high-tech sector as investor and chief executive in several Internet commerce firms.
The terms of the acqusition were not disclosed.
The Ungaro house is the second high-profile French fashion brand recently purchased by American investors this year after the Falic group bought Christian Lacroix's couture business earlier this year.
The Ferragamo group has been looking to sell the Ungaro label and its 13 stores worldwide for several months. Founded in 1965 by Emanuel Ungaro, 72, the Ungaro brand -- famous for it brightly-colored floral prints -- includes women's and men's wear, accessories and perfumes.
Total wholesale revenue of products sold under the Ungaro label through licensing deals was approximately 70 million euros (84 million dollars), a company spokesman said Friday.
He added that he expected sales to top 100 million euros (120 million dollars) in three years, with especially strong growth in accessories and men's wear.
Founder Emanuel Ungaro, 72, has not "worked with the house for six months" and "will no longer be involved in designing," company president Paolo De Spirt told AFP.
French designer Vincent Darre took charge of Ungaro's ready-to-wear collections beginning last year.
Since 2003 the company has been managed by De Spirt, who launched a re-organization focusing on Ungaro's core business and developing licensing deals.
"Emanuel Ungaro is a great brand with a very rich and unparalleled history. I believe that the current management team, led by Paolo de Spirt, has done a great job so far and I would like that they remain involved with the company," Abdullah said, cited in the communique.
Ferragamo will "continue to provide support" and work with the Ungaro brand in a licesing capacity, said Leonardo Ferragamo, director of Ferragamo Finanziaria.
The Italian group will "continue to be involved at both a strategic and an operation level," the communique said. "Leather accessories and perfume will continue to be managed by the group through licensing," it said.
PETER DUNDAS is being hailed as the man to succeed Vincent Darre at Emanuel Ungaro. Currently working with Roberto Cavalli's design team, and credited with upping its fashion voltage in recent seasons, Norwegian Dundass counts Christian Lacroix and Jean Paul Gaultier among his former employers. He is thought to be in talks with San Francisco entrepreneur Asim Abdullah, who bought the fashion house from Gruppo Ferragamo last year. Abdullah has expressed intentions to reignite Ungaro's history as a luxury brand, even eventually returning it to the couture runway. Emanuel Ungaro himself, who founded the label in 1965, gave it up last year. (December 13 2005, AM) .