After allegations surfaced late last week of Emanuel Ungaro's owner, Asim Abdullah, trying to find a buyer for the fledgling label, Abdullah is firing back.“It’s
absolutely not true. The company is not for sale,” said the San
Francisco-based entrepreneur, who bought Ungaro in 2005 from Gruppo
Ferragamo. But despite Abdullah's vehemence in denying the claims, many industry insiders were not shocked to hear that a sale may be taking place.
On shaky ground the past few years, the house of Ungaro has seen what WWD called "a revolving door of designers", which muddled the Ungaro image as a luxury house. In an attempt to revitalize itself and appeal to a broader and younger audience, Abdullah and Ungaro's CEO Mounir Moufarriage decided to hire Lindsay Lohan on as the company's "artistic advisor". Lohan's attempts to play the role of designer ended disastrously when her premiere collection for Ungaro debuted during Paris Fashion Week last fall and quickly became the laughing stock of the fashion world. Since then, Moufarrige has resigned, lead designer with Lohan, Estrella Archs, claims to no longer work for the label, and the company seems to have run out of time. Yet despite evidence to the contrary, Abdullah insists the label is fine. “We are not entertaining any conversations with anyone about the sale of the company,” Abdullah said, admitting that Ungaro has begun work on a plan to “rationalize costs” amid the drop in its wholesale and retail businesses. As it was discovered last week, the company has recently given up its lease its once popular Madison Avenue
store and reportedly plans to open a smaller New York boutique next month in the
Plaza Retail Collection. Abdullah assured the media that the company's new initiative will allow Ungaro to become "sustainable" by 2011.
Article Source: WWD
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