Alber Elbaz (1961 – 2021)

Alber Elbaz with Meryl Streep in 2014 as he is handed his Fashion Group International award. Streep, who is wearing Lanvin, said “if what you’ve made me feel over the years is multiplied by all the other women whose lives you’ve enhanced, I think you should get this every year.” 

Fashion designer Alber Elbaz has passed away from Covid-19.

Elbaz was born in Morocco and moved to Israel with his family when he was 10 years old. After studying at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design he moved to New York in 1985 to work for Geoffrey Beene. In 1996 he moved to Paris to work at Guy Laroche. He became the creative director at Yves Saint Laurent in 1998 and in 2001 he joined Lanvin. 

Elbaz revitalized the dying fashion house of Lanvin – the oldest French fashion house in continuous existence that had been reduced to relying on men’s ready-to-wear and fragrances. During his 14 year tenure, Elbaz turned Lanvin into a creative and commercial success, and established signature trademarks for a modern Lanvin style, including exposed zippers and grosgrain ribbon trim. 

Fissures in the relationship between Elbaz and management grew into chasms, and Elbaz was ousted in 2015 after a loss in projected net profits. A complicated lawsuit followed that claimed there was a lack of investment strategy and that the projected profits were unrealistic, while blame was put from the other side onto Elbaz for poor sales of accessories. Ultimately, the real problem was a difference in opinion over priorities and in similar cases, the creative director is often held accountable for a decline in sales.

After years of inactivity, Elbaz just recently established his new label, AZ Factory.

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