|Versus Hires Jonathan Anderson
November 29th, 2012 @ 11:04 AM
Cacharel Unveils New CEO, in Major Corporate Revamp
November 21st, 2012 @ 00:56 AM
Kane Drops Out of Versus in Major Shake-up
November 20th, 2012 @ 10:14 AM
Pucci’s Madison Avenue Store Debuts Massive Expansion
November 16th, 2012 @ 00:35 AM
Ghesquière Departs Balenciaga in Major Surprise
November 05th, 2012 @ 00:43 AM
Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Between Optimism and Fear
November 02nd, 2012 @ 00:28 AM
London Unveils Men’s Season Schedule
November 01st, 2012 @ 00:36 AM
Azzaro Releases Castello Branco
October 25th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM
Revenue Soars 22 Percent at LVMH in First Three Quarters
October 16th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM
Rykiel Names Geraldo da Conceicao Artistic Director
September 21st, 2012 @ 8:12 PM
Brazil’s New London Pop-Up
September 21st, 2012 @ 7:20 PM
McQueen Men Returning Home to London
September 12th, 2012 @ 7:19 PM
Roitfeld, Mum and Son, Open in Brazil
September 07th, 2012 @ 00:54 AM
Berluti Opens to Big-Time Business in London
September 06th, 2012 @ 3:27 PM
Stefano Pilati Back with a Bang at Zegna
September 05th, 2012 @ 7:10 PM
Hugo Boss Wows in Berlin, Plans for New York
July 06th, 2012 @ 00:17 AM
Salvatore Ferragamo: Crusin’ the Louvre
June 13th, 2012 @ 11:04 AM
Michel Klein Gains New Backer; Launches Sunglass Collection
June 13th, 2012 @ 00:48 AM
Sykes Jettisoned by Aquascutum; Maurer In at Rabanne
June 06th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM
Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope
June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM
The House of Ungaro’s Lowdown on Lindsay Lohan
October 01st, 2009 @ 00:19 AM - Paris
It turns out that the surprise fashion appointment of this summer – the nomination of movie star Lindsay Lohan and designer Estella Archs to be the creative team in charge of the Paris fashion house Emanuel Ungaro - had a somewhat surprising imprimatur. The most important recommendation for Lohan was "Project Runway" star Tim Gunn.
“I was very influenced in my choice by Tim Gunn, who had invited Lindsay to be a judge," said Ungaro CEO Mounir Moufarrige in an exclusive interview. "His comments that she had a great sense of fashion and knew what works and doesn’t work, were pretty significant to me.”
Ungaro announced the appointment of Lohan and Archs in early September, though Moufarrige said that the pair had actually started working on their debut collection back in June both in Paris and Los Angeles.
Archs and Lohan succeeded Esteban Cortazar, whose relationship with Ungaro had been fraught, following mixed reviews for all three collections he produced for the house.
Celebrity fashion is nothing new, from Puff Daddy and Gwen Stefani in the U.S. to Victoria Beckham in the U.K. However, no celebrity has ever been given the reins at a major Paris couture house where the weight of expectation, technical demands and critical jury are considerably more demanding.
The new Lohan/Archs duo make their debut this weekend in the Paris women’s ready-to-wear season when they present Ungaro’s Spring 2010 collection in the Carrousel du Louvre on Sunday, Oct. 4. Archs will show her own signature collection on Thursday, Oct. 8, the last official show on the nine-day French calendar.
“We have a mature designer in Estrella combined with a star who commands international attention," said Moufarrige. "We need to bring in younger and cooler and trends to Ungaro. This team can provide that.”
The Ungaro CEO added that he had planned to announce their arrival two weeks before the Paris shows, “as this was more strategic timing.”
He added that Archs and Lohan had been spending more time together in Los Angeles and New York, but added that this fitted in more with his “long-term vision of the Ungaro woman. She is a combination of the American and European girl. “
Moufarrige first met Archs in Paris and then went to L.A. to meet Lohan. Archs, 35, has shown her own collection in Paris for the past two years. A graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins fashion college, Archs is an experienced designer, who has done stints with a slew of houses including Nina Ricci, Cacharel, Hussein Chalayan, Emilio Pucci and Prada.
“Lindsay already had an Ungaro coat at the age of 13," said Moufarrige. "Her own mother used to wear Ungaro. You could not sit on a settee or chair in her place. Her home was full of brands. You had to sit on the floor!”
“I was looking at who was attracting lots of attention," he continued. "Celebrities have replaced the models – Linda and Christy and Cindy have all been replaced not by other models but by celebrities.”
The Paris-based fashion house is a privately held affair, owned since 2005 by high-tech entrepreneur Asim Abdullah and Moufarrige.
The executive added that he was also influenced this summer by European magazine covers. “Vogue Spain was coming out in August with Lindsay, then Elle UK in September," he said. "Plus she had already done Harpers, GQs, Vogues and WWD.”
Moufarrige is known for making unexpected choices, most famously in 1997 replacing Karl Lagerfeld with Stella McCartney, then age 25, as head designer at Chloe, when he was president of that house. However, Ungaro has been a revolving door for designers in the past half decade, as Peter Dundas, Vincent Darre and Giambattista Valli all exited the house for varying reasons.
But Moufarrige reiterated that a clinching argument in choosing Lohan was Gunn.
“This was authentic, not the paparazzi press all talking about her car accidents, or the drug things," added Moufarrige. "To be complimented by someone like Tim Gunn was very impressive.”
Lohan has been involved in three car crashes, most recently in March of this year. The "Mean Girls" star was a passenger when her Maserati rear-ended a Subaru in Glendale, California. Lohan also served a three year probation order relating to a 2007 driving under the influence conviction.
The new design duo signed a three-year contract, with clauses specifying how much time they have to spend time in Paris, working on collections and worldwide promotion.
“When I signed Esteban it was clear he would have to work with a celebrity artistic adviser, and they would walk the runway together," said Moufarrige. "But Esteban was actually fired because he refused to work with Paris Hilton and then Lizzie Jagger.”
Asked if reports that he had also interviewed Madonna for the position, Moufarrige replied, “I am not at liberty to confirm that for confidential reasons.”
The Ungaro chief also brushed aside claims that Lohan had skipped a scheduled call with the Wall Street Journal and refused to pose for pictures at last month’s Fashion's Night Out event in Ungaro’s New York store.
“She was late for the Wall Street Journal, she did not skip that," he said. "And during Fashion Night Out Lindsay stood outside Bloomingdale’s for 45 minutes while the photographers took shots. And then inside there were practically riots, customers climbed on chairs and on top of cabinets to take pictures.”
“Lindsay Lohan is not a designer, we are not pretending that she is. But she is a great merchandiser who can bring lots of ideas. You will soon see that,” said Moufarrige.