By Rey Robes Ilagan
French fashion designer Emanuel Ungaro died Saturday in Paris at the age of 86. His family confirmed the passing of the designer after more than two years in a “weakened” state of health.
Born in Aix-en-Province in southern France, Emanuel was the son of Italian immigrants from Francavilla Fontana of the Brindisi province of Italy. At the age of 22, he moved to Paris and trained under Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga three years later.
In 1965, Emanuel opened his fashion house in Paris with the assistance of Swiss artist Sonja Knapp and Elena Bruna Fassio. The designer then launched his menswear line, Ungaro Uomo, in 1973, and his first-ever perfume, Diva, in 1983.
“One should not wear a dress, one should live in it,” Emanuel said about his work.
Throughout his career, Emanuel has dressed revered film actresses including Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Adjani, and Gena Rowlands. French star Anouk Aimee served as muse for the house of Ungaro.