French fashion designer Emanuel Ungaro has died aged 86, his family confirmed on Sunday (22 December).
While the exact cause of death is not known, a family member told the Agence France Presse newswire that he had been suffering from “weakened” health for the past two years, reports Yahoo News.
Ungaro moved to Paris in the 1950s after being born in Southern France to Italian parents. His father was a tailor, and it was from him that he learned the basics of fashion craftsmanship.
The designer founded his eponymous fashion label in 1965 after training under Cristobal Balenciaga and quickly became known for his playful, colourful designs with a heavy focus on pattern, texture and sensuality.
Ungaro famously once said: “One should not wear a dress, one should live in it.” Over the years he expanded his couture brand to include ready-to-wear, fragrance, eyewear and shoes.
Throughout his career, Ungaro dressed some of the world’s most famous and fabulous women, including Princess Caroline of Monaco, Catherine Deneuve, Halle Berry and Katy Perry.
In 2001, Ungaro began to distance himself from fashion, leaving the majority of the creative direction of his brand to his regular collaborator, Giambattista Valli. He officially retired in 2004 to live a life out of the spotlight with his wife and daughter.
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In 2005, the French designer sold his label to internet entrepreneur Asim Abdullah for $84m (about £64.5m), reports The Independent. Several other designers went on to head up the brand as creative director, including Esteban Cortezar, Fausto Puglisi and Giles Deacon. In 2009, Lindsay Lohan was memorably hired as artistic director but departed after a short stint when the results were ridiculed by the fashion press.
In 2017, former Giorgio Armani womenswear designer Marco Colagrossi took over the brand as creative director.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.
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