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Ungaro Taps Lindsay Lohan, Unknown Designer Estrella Archs to Collaborate, Create Some Noise for the Brand

>> Mounir Moufarrige, who famously replaced Karl Lagerfeld with 25-year-old Stella McCartney at Chloe in 1997, is at it again: He's signed an almost-unknown chief designer, Estrella Archs (left), and Lindsay Lohan as an "artistic adviser" to replace Esteban Cortazar at Emanuel Ungaro, in hopes that they will bring attention — good, bad, or otherwise — back to the brand.  Their first collection — for Spring 2010 — is expected to be shown on the runway in Paris, and Archs and Lohan will likely come out together for the bow at the end.

Ungaro CEO Moufarrige decided to forego a proven, well-known designer, he told WWD, because the days of "designers in their ivory towers" are over.  He thinks that Lohan will lend a vital "consumer" voice: "Designer-led fashion is likely not to be enough [for Ungaro]. It’s a slow process going the traditional route [because designers need a couple of years to get into the house's skin]. Not enough just doesn’t get you anywhere.” And he maintains that "it's not an act of desperation to get a real diva [like Lohan] involved. I like controversy." 

Lohan now has a multiyear contract with the brand »

Lohan has signed a multiyear contract with the brand, which includes her doing trunk shows, making appearances and "be where the activities of the brand are," according to Moufarrige.  She already neglected to call for a scheduled interview with the Wall Street Journal about her new appointment.  But she won't be in the Ungaro advertising campaign because as the Ungaro CEO puts it, she's a "moving advertising campaign . . . she's photographed thousands of times a week."

Lohan hopes to take Ungaro to a "younger place" with a harder fashion edge, she told WWD, and says she "kind of oversees everything [new designer Archs] does."  Archs, who started in June, was hired because Moufarrige was attracted by her two-year-old signature collection: "She has a lot of fluidity and a lot of color, and it's easy to wear. She was spot-on in terms of the DNA of Ungaro."  The designer, who studied at Central Saint Martins and put in time at Nina Ricci, Hussein Chalayan, Emilio Pucci, and Prada, has already spent time rummaging through Lohan's closet for inspiration.  She's not worried about Lohan overshadowing her work, though, she told the Wall Street Journal: "There's enough spotlights on the catwalk for both of us."

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