Alber Elbaz, who made a name for himself in historic fashion houses like Yves Saint Laurent and spent a 14-year period rejuvenating Lanvin, died at the age of 59 at the American Hospital in Paris. His death, the cause of which is still unknown, was confirmed by Richemont, the conglomerate that backs Elbaz’s latest company, AZ Factory.
“I have lost not just a colleague, but a dear friend,” Richemont founder and president Johann Rupert said in a statement published on April 25, a day after Elbaz’s sudden passing. ‘Alber had a well-deserved reputation as one of the brightest and most beloved figures in the industry. I was always captivated by his intelligence, sensitivity, generosity and unbridled creativity. He was a man of exceptional warmth and talent, and his singular vision, sense of beauty and empathy leave an indelible impression. ‘
The visionary born in morocco is best known for catapult Lanvin to the major leagues during his tenure from 2001 to 2015 at the French house. His bitter separation from the brand, which forced him to defend his work and leadership style, was well documented, and Elbaz subsequently took a five-year hiatus. Returning to fashion on the spring / summer 2021 haute couture show with a fresh outlook and modern brand proposition, the industry was delighted to welcome one of its top creatives, who always infused their work with such joy and focused squarely on making people feel special.
‘It was a great privilege to see Alber in his latest endeavor as he worked to realize his dream of’ smart fashion that cares, ” Rupert continued. ‘His inclusive vision of fashion made women feel beautiful and comfortable by combining traditional craftsmanship with technology, highly innovative projects that sought to redefine the industry. ‘ His brilliant innovations and exuberant presence will be greatly missed.
Article previously published in Vogue UK, vogue.co.uk