Alber Elbaz, the Moroccan-born Israeli fashion designer who rejuvenated Lanvin, has died on Saturday in Paris due to Covid-19. Known as the industry’s “brightest and most beloved figures”, the gifted designer transformed the storied French fashion house by putting out works that oscillate between fantasy and lightness; powerful and playfully eccentric.
A rare character in fashion, the former creative director of Lanvin has been described as empathetic and kind, both in the clothes he made and the way he carried himself in the industry. He was beloved not only by his celebrity clients such as Meryl Streep and Natalie Portman, but also by his peers. His luxury fashion company AZ Factory, established in 2019 and backed by Swiss luxury company Richemont, was the latest feather on his already crowded cap.
“Alber always thought of fashion as an embrace of life at its best,” said Anna Wintour, the global chief content officer for Condé Nast and editor of Vogue.
Ironically, the 59-year-old fashion designer also once compared a fashion collection to a vaccine — an easy product to duplicate, but not something cheap to create.
He’ll always be remembered not only for his talent but the generosity he had bestowed upon the fashion world. Scroll to see tributes from personalities and experts in the industry.
Editor-in-chief and co-founder of MYND Asia
"Of course we loved Alber Elbaz for his magical fashion at Lanvin. Oh, how I collected his divine dresses that were not just about high fashion, but also with crafted with delicious whimsy: crystal L-O-V-E on clutches, big bows on shoes, and the chicest black-tie style. His creations spoke volumes about the kind, gentle man who just loved dressing, knowing, celebrating women. I had the rare chance of meeting him in person at a Harper’s Bazaar Global Conference in 2014. We had a lovely lunch forum where he spoke about his love for fashion and food; shared warm stories of his childhood and how his grandmother inspired him; his best friends, and more food! So real. When we took a photo together at the spiral staircase of Le Bristol, he pulled me close in the cuddliest embrace and “flash” that was a thousand memories in one photo. Another fashion genius gone too soon but never forgotten."
Fashion writer and influencer, television presenter + founder of The Bag Hag Diaries
"Alber Elbaz wove his own style sensibilities into the DNA of Lanvin so seamlessly. Apart from his immeasurable talent, he was also witty and had a wicked sense of humor. He has left an indelible mark in fashion and will be sorely missed."
Dato Sri Dr Farah Khan
Founder of luxury retail fashion boutique Melium Group + Creative director of Farah Khan
"The bon vivant will be sadly missed by the fashion fraternity for his daring personality and great humour. It’s much too soon and he has still so much to achieve. Life is precious."
Lee Jim Leng
Group managing director and CEO of Hong Leong Investment Bank
"As an ardent fan of Yves Saint Laurent & Lanvin, we have lost one of the greatest talents in the fashion industry. I starkly recalled the three key words in Alber Elbaz’s Instagram account: Dream, Think and Fly. The traits of a truly inspirational designer, one that is creative and bold! You will be dearly missed and we pray for the family to be strong during this period of mourning."
Fashion stylist at Styled By Andrea Wong
"Fashion has lost one of its brightest and most beloved figures with Alber Elbaz's passing. His women-first philosophy and unapologetically feminine designs has made women the world over, myself included, feel beautiful in their own skin, and for that we are forever grateful. I will think of him whenever I rock a cocktail dress. He will truly be missed."
Corporate communications manager at L'Oréal Malaysia
"The fashion scene has lost its darling. I remember seeing Alber once while at his store in paris. He was being interviewed and I remember how passionate he looked talking about his work. I also remember when he was setting up the AZ factory. On his Instagram post, we could see him carrying and rearranging the furniture himself! That speaks volumes about a person who lives what he does and, clearly, was someone everyone loved."
Lifestyle editor, sustainable activist + former editor-at-large and fashion features director of Vogue India
[InstaStory post] "RIP Alber Elbaz. You were my favourite designer when you were at Lanvin from 2001 to 2015."
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