Poor Ungaro

Posted 21 January 2012 at 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

I feel bad for Emanuel Ungaro.

The 46-year old fashion house just announced that not only are they unable to deliver their spring collection to retailers, they won’t be presenting a fall collection at all.

I didn’t hate their spring collection; it was simple, well-edited. On the other hand, I wouldn’t wear most of it. It lacked… well, street cred. There were only three looks I loved and wanted to wear:

Best Runway Looks from Emanuel Ungaro Spring 2012 Collection

And only another three that had serious potential:

Potentially Great Looks from Emanuel Ungaro Spring 2012 Collection

The sequin gown could have been so much more than this. Sequins are supposed to be fun, but this gown just looks sad. Maybe if the sequin pattern wasn’t so random—instead the sequins could have been treated like an ombré, as if they were falling from the bodice and collecting at the hem? And maybe if there were glimmers of color throughout, or a sweetheart neckline?

The second dress has this utilitarian/flirty thing going on, which I really like, but the bottom half, instead of draping nicely, needs a little something to save it from frumpiness. Maybe it should have been a pencil skirt.

The third dress is the most depressing because it could have been awesome. The embellishments at the top are insane! But it seems someone didn’t have the time to finish this one. It’s rocker chic at the top, bland and getting blander at the bottom. Ugh! So depressing.

Ungaro has been fumbling along since its founding designer retired in 2004. (Remember the disastrous Lindsay Lohan collaboration in 2009? Yeesh.) But even though I criticize their designs, I doubt that’s the main issue here. Maybe there’s some bad management (the company is notorious for its “revolving door”), and there’s definitely poor marketing: only about 1,400 people are fans of their Facebook page—as opposed to 131,000 fans of Salvatore Ferragamo, and almost six million fans of Gucci. Really, it all just seems like one big mess.

But I do feel bad for them. I feel bad for the brand that Ungaro himself built, nurtured, and sustained. I feel bad that a brand I grew up admiring may have already missed an entire generation. Most of all, I feel bad that I kind of wish they would float away quietly.

Or, perhaps better yet, have an amazing comeback. I wouldn’t feel bad about that at all.

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