Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 31 March 2020

French fashion designer Emmanuel Ungaro dies aged 86

The designer called himself a 'sensual obsessive'

Italian designer Emanuel Ungaro makes last-minute preparations backstage prior to the presentation of his 2001/2002 autumn-winter Haute Couture collection in Paris, France July 9, 2001. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo
Italian designer Emanuel Ungaro makes last-minute preparations backstage prior to the presentation of his 2001/2002 autumn-winter Haute Couture collection in Paris, France July 9, 2001. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

The French fashion designer Emanuel Ungaro has died in Paris at the age of 86.

Ungaro, the son of Italian immigrants who trained under the late Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga, founded his eponymous fashion house in 1965. The House of Emanuel Ungaro confirmed his death on Sunday.

Ungaro will “remain in our memories as the Master of sensuality, of colour and flamboyance”, his fashion house said in an Instagram post.

The designer died in the French capital on Saturday amid deteriorating health, according to French media.

A self-professed “sensual obsessive”, Ungaro had a reputation for using bright colours in his work.

“Colours is a language, is a vocabulary, and then you can say a lot of things, like the perfume. You can say a lot of things with the perfume, with the smell you have, the fragrance you have on you. A lot of things. And colours too,” he once said.

Born in the southern French city of Aix-en-Provence in 1933, Ungaro learned to sew from his father, an Italian tailor. He was the second of six children.

After moving to Paris aged 23, he worked as an assistant for the Balenciaga before working for a couple of years for the Courreges house.

With help of some of his female colleagues, in 1965, he launched his first collection on his own label, which was based on Avenue Mac-Mahon in the 17th arrondissement in Paris. Ungaro later branched out into perfumes, shoes, furniture, candles and glasses.

Over his career, Ungaro clothed a string of film stars including Gena Rowlands, Catherine Deneuve and Isabelle Adjani.

He retired in 2004 and sold his label a year later to internet entrepreneur Asim Abdullah for $84m (Dh 308.5m).

He leaves behind his wife and daughter.

Updated: December 23, 2019 12:06 AM

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