Born to Italian immigrants in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France, Emanuel Ungaro learned tailoring from his father before moving to Paris in 1955. Emanuel first worked for the men’s tailor Christiani before moving over to Balenciaga in 1958, and then Courreges in 1961.
In 1965 he founded his own company and concentrated on ready-to-wear rather than couture. In 1973 he launched his first menswear collection and was also one of five designers representing France at the famous Versailles fashion show that year.
In 1996 Ungaro partnered with the Ferragamo group and continued to design under his own label until he retired in 2004. The company was sold in 2005 to Asum Abdullah, and the label soon became notorious for its revolving door of creative directors that bizarrely included Lindsay Lohan.