Life After Lindsay: Emanuel Ungaro Announces Search for Buyer.

March 25, 2010 • Fashion

An original Emanuel Ungaro design

Oh noooooooo! After the breaking news yesterday that Lindsay Lohan has left the house of Emanuel Ungaro and is already pursuing other design ventures, it seems that Ungaro may not recover from the mess Lohan left in her wake. The New York Post reported this morning that the 45-year old French label is looking for a buyer to save itself from bankruptcy. The irony is, the label took on Lohan as an "artistic adviser" to introduce a fresher, hipper clientele to the label after it had been struggling with its image for some time. Hopes were high when Asim Abdullah, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who bought the label from fashion  group Salvatore Ferragamo in 2005, was approached by an investment group about a sale,
according to one source. But once Lohan's premiere collection for Ungaro debuted during Paris Fashion Week last October, sources said, "all bets are off." The comment is a testament to how disastrous the label was, as nipple pasties, micro-minis and candy-colored hearts splashed across the sophomoric collection-a far cry from the foundation that Ungaro himself had built with elaborate prints and sophisticated draped dresses. Now, having begun with an unstable platform, the aftermath of the show has left Ungaro label near devastation.

Though official numbers for the label have yet to be disclosed, The Post found, in 2004 when the label was under Salvatore Ferragamo, it lost $26.5
million on revenues of about $38 million. Debts totaled about $25
million at the time, and inside sources say the losses haven't stopped since.
To staunch some its losses,  Ungaro has recently shuttered its 8,000-square-foot boutique on Madison Avenue, a huge hotspot for the label  in the 1990s. It had occupied the
space since 1994. Michael Kors has since taken over the Madison Avenue space, having won a reported "very favorable deal". Between internal mismanagement of the label and the departure of popular head designer Esteban Cortazar last year, the Ungaro label has not had a strong string of luck lately. But with Lohan out of label now and and search for an investor underway, we're all hoping that the brand built under design legend Ungaro can prevail even in these tough times.

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