Ungaro focuses on womenswear, fragrance relaunch
French label Ungaro is focusing on two major new projects: women's ready-to-wear and fragrances. For over a year, Ungaro has been working discreetly to relaunch its womenswear line under the aegis of new creative director Kobi Halperin, whose first pre-collection and summer collection were both available last season exclusively at US department store Saks Fifth Avenue. With the Fall/Winter 2022-23 season, the line is opening up its distribution to multibrand retailers at home and abroad.
On Monday, the luxury label owned since 2005 by Aimz Acquisition, the investment fund of Pakistani-American businessman Asim Abdullah, unveiled next winter’s collection at its Parisian showroom in avenue Montaigne. The collection brims with easy Parisian chic, featuring brightly coloured, lightweight outfits and pretty floral prints.
“Femininity lies at the heart of my work. I love women, and I love designing beautiful clothes for them. Everything must be very light and free, this is the way to enjoy fashion nowadays,” said Halperin, adding he wants to “bring a little bit of colour and optimism into the world.”
Airy pleated dresses in pink or red silk georgette spread open like butterfly wings. Suits are made in satin, while skirts and jackets come in glossy taffeta. Frilled blouses glide smoothly over skin. An ostrich feather trim runs down a cardigan's sleeves. Glittering outfits in bright blue and green glimmer in the night.
The collection contains plenty of subtle references to Ungaro's classic fashion vernacular, from a jacket's puffed-up sleeves to the use of tulle fabric, pleats and frills, draped jersey and even feathers, cropping up in prints too. Halperin was born in Israel and has been based in New York for 23 years. In 2015, he launched his own label, Kobi Halperin, after working for 13 years at Elie Tahari and for three at Kenneth Cole Productions. For his new Ungaro collection, he mostly drew his inspiration, as well as from the label's archives, from the city of Paris, “a genuine open-air museum,” and from an exhibition dedicated to crystal manufacturer Lalique.
Ungaro’s women’s ready-to-wear line is managed under licence by Komark LLC, a subsidiary of S. Rothschild + Co., Kobi Halperin's commercial partner. The line is manufactured in Asia and has been repositioned in the premium contemporary segment. “The majority of items are priced below $1,000. In these troubled times, with the pandemic and widespread geopolitical uncertainty, a sensible price positioning is highly appreciated by buyers. They are all well aware that, in the coming months, women undoubtedly won’t feel like shelling out €3,000 for a dress,” said the label's managing director, Marie Fournier, speaking to FashionNetwork.com.
“We have relaunched womenswear [starting] with the USA, through an exclusive deal with Saks’s 14 branches. The luxury segment is booming in the US, which will surely become our main market in the next few years, ahead of Italy and Japan,” added Fournier, who is extremely happy for “the very positive response European buyers have given to this new collection.”
Ungaro’s menswear is currently distributed via some 60 retailers, and the label is also focusing on a new fragrance project with Inter Parfums Inc. Ungaro’s fragrance licence had been managed by Italian group Salvatore Ferragamo until last October. Since then, Ungaro has signed a 10-year licence agreement with the US arm of European licensed perfume specialist InterParfums. “We are working on a major relaunch programme, which is set to kick off in 2023 with a new fragrance drop,” said Fournier.
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