The Designer Behind Emanuel Ungaro’s Eighties Capsule Collection

ungaro mambrini
A look from the spring '17 Ungaro capsule by Francesca Mambrini.

Nobody could have missed the full-on Eighties factor of Fausto Puglisi’s spring 2017 collection for Emanuel Ungaro. But the creative brain behind the collection’s equally retro shoes was Italian footwear designer Francesca Mambrini.

The capsule collection comprises pumps and monochrome fold-over heeled booties featuring graphic brush stroke prints and the house’s emblematic polka dots. Mambrini declared the collaboration between the two houses “a perfect fit.”

mambrini ungaro A look from Mambrini’s spring ’17 collaboration with Ungaro.

“I have always considered French fashion as being the most feminine of all, and Emanuel Ungaro was certainly one of its icons. I have often been inspired by the creations of the Parisian couturier within my shoe collections,” said Mambrini, citing a shared passion for architectural detailing and embroidery.

Mambrini, who trained as an interior designer, is herself a collector of pop art including pieces by Andy Warhol and Julian Schnabel. She draws inspiration from both art and fashion — passions inherited from her mother and grandmother.

mambrini ungaro A look from Mambrini’s spring ’17 collaboration with Ungaro.

The former is a collector of contemporary art and the latter was milliner Clelia Venturi, who is known for creating hats for stars of the silver screen such as Grace Kelly and Sophia Loren. Mambrini credits her businessman father with her acumen for management and organizational skills necessary for the running of a successful company.

mambrini spring A shot from Mambrini’s spring ’17 lookbook.

Her eponymous label is notable for its bright yellow insoles, while its butterfly shaped logo symbolizes the idea of metamorphosis — the transformative power of the shoe. In contrast to her Eighties-inflected collaboration with Ungaro, her own spring ’17 collection takes a more delicate approach. Both the pastel color palette and silhouettes riff off the artist Chagall’s early paintings of ballet dancers. Stiletto mules come tied at the ankle, strappy cage-like sandals combine pastel suede with python skin and other styles lace right up the leg to the thigh for an effect that is both poetic and ethereal.

mambrini spring 17 A shot from Mambrini’s spring ’17 lookbook.