PARIS — Fashion’s revolving door has spun once more — this time chez Emanuel Ungaro. The French fashion house has named Moschino alum Vincent Darré as its new designer.
He succeeds Giambattista Valli, who gave the brand a younger edge during his seven-year stint but was lately caught in a tug-of-war between the founding couturier and the Ferragamo family, which bought Ungaro in 1996.
Valli’s contract expired with the spring-summer 2005 collection he showed earlier this month.
Darré starts on Nov. 2, readying a pre-fall collection for January in advance of a runway debut in March during Paris Fashion Week.
“We think he’s got the right profile to take over this house, from a cultural standpoint and from a styling standpoint,” Paolo Di Spirt, Ungaro’s chief executive officer, told WWD Friday. “We are confident he has all the elements to succeed.”
Darré, 42, has been a creative consultant to Moschino since 2001, working in collaboration with the Italian firm’s creative director, Rosella Jardini, to create frothy collections that often played with icons of French style.
Based mostly in Paris, he is a popular figure on the local fashion and party circuits, with a circle of friends that includes Isabelle Adjani and Karl Lagerfeld, for whom he once worked as an assistant at both Chloé and Fendi.
After graduating from the Studio Bercot fashion school in Paris, he started his career at Yves Saint Laurent. He also has worked for Blumarine and Prada, in addition to stints as a stylist and photographer for several French fashion magazines.
At Ungaro, Darré must prove his commercial mettle for a house mired in the red and with a dwindling market presence. Wholesale volume this year, including licensed products, is expected to total 75 million euros, or $93.7 million at current exchange, but losses swelled north of 10 million euros, or $12.5 million, last year.
Di Spirt said the house is on track to reduce its operating loss by 20 percent in 2004, while sales so far are up about 8 percent. A Ferragamo veteran, Di Spirt was moved over to Ungaro last December to improve its financial health with a three-year strategic plan based on a combination of licensing, franchising and direct operations.
One possibility involves taking on a strategic partner to speed the development.
“We firmly believe in the value of the Ungaro brand, which is uniquely positioned in the luxury goods world and that is characterized by a worldwide brand awareness and has considerable potential,” said Leonardo Ferragamo. “We are encouraged by the results thus far achieved.”
Valli joined Ungaro in 1997 and was named creative director a year later. Ungaro passed the design reins for all products except couture to him in 2001. Recently, however, insiders describe their working relationship as estranged.
Valli gave the brand new currency among the celebrity and social set, but reviews have been uneven and his sexed-up styles often chafed with the house’s couture roots.
Meanwhile, Ungaro himself is working on a new high-fashion collection he could present as early as January. He bid adieu to the couture runway last July and announced plans to continue serving an upscale clientele with a new hybrid of couture and rtw.
MILAN — Giambattista Valli’s break from fashion didn’t last long. A day after the news that Vincent Darré will replace him as creative director at Emanuel Ungaro, Valli said he will be launching his namesake line for fall 2005.
The collection will be produced and distributed under a five-year license with Gilmar, the Italian clothing manufacturer that makes the Iceberg collection. In addition, effective Nov. 1, Valli will become co-creative director of Iceberg with Paolo Gerani, son of Gilmar founders Giuliana Marchini and her husband, Silvano Gerani. Paolo Gerani is currently creative director of Iceberg, which was launched in 1974, and executive vice president of Gilmar.
The Giambattista Valli line will be at the high end of the market and distributed in select stores, according to the statement. A Valli store is set to open in New York in 2006.
Manlio Cocchini, chief executive officer of Gilmar, said the project with Valli is in line with the company’s strategy, announced earlier this year, to diversify its product offering. Cocchini also said the strategy will help designers find ways to expand their businesses through the support of a manufacturing company, which will also provide distribution.
Gilmar also produces and distributes the Gerani label, at one point designed by Rebecca Moses, and Frankie Morello under license. It is based in San Giovanni Marignano, in central Italy. The firm reported sales of about $125 million last year and produces about 1.5 million pieces per year.
so now i'm wondering what will happen at moschino...if vincent darre has left...because it has been looking extraordinariy good for some season now...i hope it continues to thrive without him...
seems like a good choice though...
interesting all the new names that are coming to the forefront these days after having been in the background for some time...a bit of a changing of the guard happening these days...keep it coming i say...
"It is not money that makes you well dressed: it is understanding."
Originally posted by softgrey@Oct 29 2004, 09:16 PM so now i'm wondering what will happen at moschino...if vincent darre has left...because it has been looking extraordinariy good for some season now...i hope it continues to thrive without him...
PARIS — Vincent Darré, the new artistic director of Emanuel Ungaro, did not mince words when asked if one can expect a change in direction at the French fashion house.
“Radical change,” he assured during an exclusive preview last week of the pre-fall Emanuel Ungaro collection, his first effort since succeeding Giambattista Valli in October. “I am interested in another woman. There’s a lot of tailoring, and more daywear. And it’s perhaps less sexy.”
Darré said he aims to refresh the company’s couture roots, and the timeless innovation and elegance that Ungaro achieved when he launched the house in 1967.
To wit: Among Darré’s first orders of business was to plunge into the archives to rediscover Ungaro’s “incredible prints” and inimitable tailoring style of the Sixties and Seventies.
Most recently a creative consultant to Moschino, Darré has also worked alongside Karl Lagerfeld (at Fendi and Chloé) as well as at Yves Saint Laurent, Blumarine and Prada. His appointment at Ungaro marks the first time the fashion world will discover Darré’s design sensibility solo. So what exactly is it?
Darré paused, stiffened in his slim black tuxedo jacket, and then offered: “What I think I brought to Moschino was an elegance that was very Parisian. Here it will be more evident because the house is Parisian.”
While enamored of the couture world as depicted in old movies — and practiced by greats like Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent and Ungaro — Darré said he harbors no ambitions to do high fashion himself. “That’s another education,” he said. “Today we are brought up in the world of ready-to-wear.”
Still, he said he is thrilled that Ungaro, currently working on a semi-couture project, is present in the house, and that couture represents a benchmark ideal that he hopes to instill in the house, to give the brand a more personal allure.
He said the pre-fall collection was partly inspired by Fassbinder films and his fetish actresses, Ingrid Caven and Hanna Schygulla, who had the style of Hollywood divas “but less decadent and more modern.” That translates into jersey dresses with floral chiffon worked into the seams, and a long black gown decorated haphazardly, as if half-finished, with bows and pleats. But range is paramount, and he said the collection spans all manner of day clothes, including leather and fur garments, as well as handbags and footwear.
“I want to push the accessories and they will become more important,” he said.
The fashion world will get Darré’s full-strength vision come March when he presents his fall-winter collection on the runway during Paris Fashion Week.