Emanuel Ungaro is a French haute-couture and pret-a-porter fashion designer born in 1933 in Aix-en-Provence. He learned to sew from his Italian father, who fled the Fascist uprising in the Thirties. At the age of 23 he moved to Paris and two years later he began to work as an assistant to Cristobal Balenciaga. In 1963, he worked for Courreges and he left in 1965. The same year he launched his own label and boutique in Paris with partner Sonia Knapp, who later became his wife.
Ungaro became known for his body-skimming silhouettes, splashy use of pattern, bold and often-mismatched floral prints. His clothes are most often made in rich, boldly printed fabrics with very unique designs. As such, they exude a certain amount of luxury and a whole lot of energy. At the opening show of his first boutique he refused to show evening dresses saying: “They are not my style. I am a man of this age and I will design for women of this age.”
In 1968, he created the first pret-a-porter collection, Parallele, and opened a second boutique in Paris. A few years later, in 1973, he launched his first menswear collection, Ungaro Uomo. Quickly his designs were favorites of many celebrities, including Jacqueline Kennedy and Catherine Deneuve. Over the years, Ungaro expanded and opened boutiques and secured several licencing agreements worldwide.
In 1996, Ungaro sold a majority stake of his business to Salvatore Ferragamo SpA. Emanuel Ungaro retired from the fashion business in 2005. His label continues to create a women’s collection, menswear and fragrances.
To see some more great examples of Ungaro’s work, and to get one fore yourself, shop on our Emanuel Ungaro Designer Page.