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Lohan said Ungaro has stood for provocation and chic “since Day One,” descriptors to which she can certainly relate. “Every woman wants to be sexy — without being too much,” she said. “I want it to be simple and easy. I really think less is more — and you can add on more with accessories.”
Meanwhile, she took fashion to task for being too retro and me-too. “Everyone copies everyone. I don’t want it to be about that. The reason I love fashion is it’s ever-changing; there’s something new all the time.”
In addition to her new role at Ungaro, Lohan said she has two more days of shooting for “Machete,” an ensemble thriller also starring Robert De Niro and Jessica Alba. “It’s really exciting to be back into film with so many wonderful people where I can learn so much,” she said.
Moufarrige contended he had a choice of two strategies for Ungaro: Attempting to catapult the brand’s fortunes via a proven, superstar designer à la Tom Ford at enormous expense, or pursue a more radical route — teaming a chief designer and a fashion-obsessed, if volatile, celebrity. He contends the days of “designers in their ivory towers” are over, and the input of Lohan — the ultimate fashion girl — will lend a “consumer” voice to the mix that is vital today.
“Designer-led fashion is likely not to be enough. It’s a slow process going the traditional route,” he said, describing the need to give a designer several years to get under the skin of a house and, hopefully, get the business moving. “Not enough just doesn’t get you anywhere.”
What’s more, “Consumers today know what they want, and they have an eye as well,” the executive continued. “The consumer really is key today. They know what’s going on; they’re following the trends.”
The advent of celebrity fashion lines, some of which generate hundreds of millions of dollars in sales, proves celebrities capture the imagination of consumers and “designer-led brands have competition they didn’t have before,” Moufarrige said.
“My target consumer for Ungaro is the woman of perpetual 30, and I think the combination of these two girls will greatly contribute to burnishing a great name, which is Ungaro,” he added.
Seated in his sun-drenched office on the Avenue Montaigne, a breeze tinkling a chandelier overhead, Moufarrige acknowledged Lohan has a controversial image, given her stints in rehab, drunk-driving citations and a widely publicized love affair with Samantha Ronson. But he plunks down the September British Elle and Spanish Vogue’s August issue, which both feature Lohan on the cover and in fashion spreads inside, as testimony to her international stature and enduring fashion allure.
He also noted Lohan’s line of leggings, labeled 6126, are performing well at retail.
“The fashion industry thrives on controversy anyway,” he said, waving a hand as if to dispel doubts. “Emanuel Ungaro himself was very controversial. He always felt women had to dress to seduce. His first perfume he called Diva. It’s not an act of desperation to get a real diva involved. I like controversy.