Emanuel Ungaro Sells Paris Flagship to Armani, Fails To Win Back Giambattista Valli


Emanuel Ungaro Spring 2012
Photo: Getty Images
A look from the label's Spring 2012 collection, which was designed by Jeanne Labib-Lamour following the departure of Giles Deacon.

To say that the past few years have been tumultuous times for the house of Emanuel Ungaro would be an understatement.

Following a disastrous 2009 dalliance with Lindsay Lohan and last year's departure of Giles Deacon and CEO Jeffry Aronsson, the French label is once again facing more turmoil as it prepares to sell its Paris flagship boutique to Giorgio Armani, the New York Post reports.

Armani has reportedly paid $10 million for the swanky space at 2 Avenue Montaigne, an influx of funds which should help Ungaro get back on its feet after money woes recently forced it to cut its staff from 30 to just five.

But will it be enough for owner Asim Abdullah, who is said to be "exhausted" by the drain on his wallet and, no doubt, the constantly rotating roster of designers? Following Deacon's exit, the Spring 2012 collection was helmed by Jeanne Labib-Lamour, and the label does not appear to be on the Paris Fashion Week Fall 2012 schedule.


"His resources are totally depleted—whether they are financial or emotional,” a source tells the paper of Abdullah. “He’s reached a limit.”

Sources say Abdullah, a software developer who bought the label in 2005, still owes former owner Salvatore Ferragamo $4 million, while losses for 2011 totaled $6 million.

From the looks of it, salvation won't come in the form of Giambattista Valli, who served as Ungaro's art director before launching his own label. Insiders say talks about Valli's return fell through when he asked for a $1 million salary and a minority stake in the company.

Well, we hear Stefano Pilati is free...

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