Valentino and Diane von Furstenberg pay tribute to designer Emanuel Ungaro

Valentino Garavani

Valentino Garavani and Diane von Furstenberg have paid tribute to French designer Emanuel Ungaro following his death.

The fashion star, who founded his eponymous couture house in 1965 and retired from it in 2004, died in Paris, France at the age of 86 on Saturday. A number of his fellow designers subsequently paid tribute, with Garavani describing him as a "great and generous friend" to WWD.

"Always with a smile and with a kindness very rare in this fashion world. His colours, his draping and the fantasy he put in every dress, deserve a very important place in the history of fashion," he praised.

Von Furstenberg told the publication Ungaro's death was "a very sad thing" and added, "Ungaro reminds me of my youth...of happy, sexy printed dresses," while Alber Elbaz said he "knew him, adored him and loved him".

Milliner Stephen Jones paid tribute via Instagram by sharing a photo of one of their collaborations and writing in the caption, "So sad to hear of the passing of the magnificent #emanuelungaro @emanuelungaroparis. To work with him was extraordinary."

Model Marisa Berenson shared a throwback image of Ungaro fitting her in a dress and described him as a "beautiful, refined and generous man".

"He was one of the greatest designers of his generation and will go down in fashion history," she continued. "Thank you dear Emanuel for having been the friend that you were, you are in my thoughts and in my heart."

Ungaro, who was born in Aix-en-Provence, France, in 1933, got his start in fashion by working as an assistant to a Sicilian tailor. He then spent six years learning from legendary Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga before creating his own fashion house in Paris.

He quickly became a success with his feminine designs, colourful draping, and bold prints, with one of his first clients being former U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Notable creative directors of the Emanuel Ungaro brand have included Giambattista Valli, Peter Dundas, Giles Deacon, and Fausto Puglisi.

Ungaro is survived by his wife, Laura, and a daughter, Cosima.

© Cover Media