Emanuel Ungaro was born in Italy in 1933 and moved to France with his family at a young age to escape the fascist Italian government. Ungaro, just like his father, found joy in sewing, and eventually moved to Paris in 1955, then 22 years old, to pursue a career in fashion. For almost the first decade he designed for two fashion houses: The first three at Balenciaga with four years following at Courrèges.
In the mid 1960s Ungaro met Sonja Knapp - a Swiss textile artist, and together they started their own label in 1965. For almost another decade their designs were exclusive tailored to the female audience, but in 1973 they started their first men's clothing line with the label "Ungaro Uomo". Ungaro is most well known for his skill in mixing different textiles and patterns. Combining a striped shirt with tweed jacket and glen plaid pants is a classic example for Ungaro's early pattern experiments.
In 2005 the label Ungaro was sold to Pakistan businessman Asim Abdullah. Esteban Cortazar was appointed as head designer two years later. It is estimated that Ungaro's sales exceed $100 Million a year.