The Fashion Folk S01 ep2 : Emanuel Ungaro, Ungaro Fashion, [Paris]
Interview with Emanuel Ungaro
Cristobal was incredibly kind, incredibly warm, incredibly shy – so strong that there was an explosion inside, sometimes he exploded on the outside too. After his death when I wrote so many things about him, his assistants were surprised the way I knew him. I stole the knowledge.
In Italian there is an expression "La Bravura non basta" – "To be brave is not
KM: Why fashion
I use my hands a lot. I smell the material. Generally with the smell I can
determine whether it is British textile or French textile.
My father was my teacher of course
KM: What did you learnt from your father
What I learnt most was the rigor and intellectual honesty.
I have never worn a ready to wear jacket, impossible!
My older brother is a tailor too, he remained in Aix-en-Province, he is doing my
jackets, even today.
I used to say to him "Hey the sleeve has to be here!!"
I had a real loving female friend. I was so attracted by her, so seduced by her.
She said to me because she recognized something in me , I don’t know what.
" What you should do someday, you leave Aix-en-Provence, you never go
back and go to Paris and do what you want to do".
Then I saw a movie by "Lucca Mei" - Bad Meeting and that fascinated me and
I said I have to be there
Christian Dior was the king at the time,
but I knew there was someone very secret in the fashion business
I tried by knocking on all the doors and finally I found an old friend of mine from
the South of France doing hats, Jean Barte. Jean knew someone working at
Balenciaga and it was Henri Courrege and Courrege was going to leave the
House of Balenciaga and he wanted to introduce someone, not as a
replacement because he had been with Balenciaga for 10 years but to get
inside the same way.
I was calling everyday to Balenciaga – it was a nightmare, finally I got in, but it
was a nightmare…
KM: What was Cristobal like?
He was incredibly kind, incredibly warm, incredibly shy – so strong that there
was an explosion inside, sometimes he exploded on the outside too.
KM: Why wasn’t he as big as Dior?
That is a long story. First of all Christian Dior was very French and was
involved with the Press. He was the "Le Cherie de Sidam "The darling of the
He was fragile, so kind, so ready for interviews and photos and so on.
He was himself so spectacular.
He was doing things that pleased very much the lady of the moment.
Instead Balenciaga was so secretive, was so shy, but he was so modern. He
was 10 years in advance of the others and Mr. Dior himself said, "We have a
master in Balenciaga".
All the modernity of today was born there.
His assistants after his death when I wrote so many things about him, were
surprised the way I knew him.
I stole the knowledge.
He never talked
KM: He never talked?
He never explained to you
I was behind him, looking, and giving him pins.
I knew before he knew himself that he would need the pencil in his hand. That
is the proof of love - you understand?
I'm listening every morning to the string quartet from Beethoven
because I want to make a collection really with the same architecture of his
thinking . Because in this music, you have the entire world.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Emanuel Ungaro, Ungaro Fashion, Paris