The Lindsay Lohan-Centered Biz Model Drives Ungaro Into Closing Madison Ave. Store

KILLER!Emanuel Ungaro, the once high-end line of the Paris-based designer who sold his name and company in 2005, made headlines last year for electing Lindsay Lohan as its full-time muse and, improbably, artistic designer. (The company even fired a designer who refused to learn from the wisdom of the Lohan.) The line, under Lohan… let’s say it suffered? (“The collection was such a failure that we could not believe they kept her on,” is how fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone put it.) And now, the business is making drastic financial arrangements-closing their Madison Avenue shop, according to a staff member.

A very nice voicemail left by a Madison Avenue Ungaro staffer for a customer yesterday, inviting the customer up to the store, broke the news.

“Unfortunately,” the leaver of the voicemail said, “um, we’re actually going to be closing our doors February 27th, so I wanted to invite you to our liquidation sale.”

Last night, we called the store for comment. An employee there told me, after a bit of hesitation (and, obviously, after I said I was a reporter) that I was misinformed and that the store “was fine” and that they were merely liquidating the fall/winter inventory, you see. Not that the entire store was being sold off at 75% off and closing up shop in about three weeks.

We don’t have insight yet into what other financial changes are happening at the line.

In any event, everything is “fine” directly contradicts what they’re actually telling customers. This is how their salespeople are wrapping up their voicemails: “Again, our official closing date will be February 27th.