Alber Elbaz, known best for his 14-year stint at French fashion house Lanvin, passed away aged 59 on April 24 after succumbing to Covid-19. Known as one of fashion’s kindest and talented figures, Elbaz was loved by a number of clients and celebrities including Meryl Streep, Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, Kim Kardashian, Sarah Jessica Parker, many of whom he often dressed for red carpet appearances.
Elbaz, who turned Lanvin around with his creative direction and design expertise departed the brand abruptly after 14 years. After a five-year hiatus, the exceptional designer made a comeback with a new brand, AZ Factory, with the backing of Switzerland based company Richemont. In a digital show of the new brand, he said, “I left fashion - but I didn’t leave the industry.” With AZ Factory, Elbaz focused on clothing that solved problems as well as made women feel good. His collections incorporated switchwear, which includes versatile clothes that can go from ‘cosy to couture in under a minute’ as well as size-inclusive clothing that also supports your silhouette.
The designer was not just a favourite amongst celebs he dressed but also industry peers who he often sent flowers to before their shows. In a tribute post for Elbaz, designer Stella McCartney said. “He was a light like no other in the world. In fashion, his immense talent shone so bright that it tore up the conventions and wrapped a million souls in happiness when they wore his creations.” Stella McCartney was one of many designers and celebrities that took to social media to remember the gifted designer and his small gestures of kindness.
Richemont’s chairman Johann Rupert said in a statement, "Alber had a richly deserved reputation as one of the industry's brightest and most beloved figures. His inclusive vision of fashion made women feel beautiful and comfortable by blending traditional craftsmanship with technology -- highly innovative projects which sought to redefine the industry."