EXCLUSIVE: Rapper Future Is Lanvin Lab’s First Guest Creative

EXCLUSIVE: Rapper Future Is Lanvin Lab’s First Guest Creative

In the latest sign of growing complicity between luxury fashion brands and music, Lanvin has tapped Grammy-winning rapper Future for a collaboration spanning ready-to-wear and accessories for women and men, WWD has learned.
Lanvin plans to release the collection for winter 2023 retailing, with Future the first guest creative for its new Lanvin Lab, conceived to incubate new ideas and concepts for the French house alongside its main product lines.

“The collaboration came about organically, as Future has recently shown a genuine interest in Lanvin,” Siddhartha Shukla, deputy general manager of Lanvin, disclosed in an exclusive interview.

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Shukla described Future’s style as “deeply personal and sophisticated. He possesses a sharp self-awareness and exercises precision in his choices — qualities we understand at Lanvin.”

Lauding him as “one of the most important and influential musicians, producers and artists globally, his role in inaugurating Lanvin Lab carries a sociocultural resonance that manages at once to be far-reaching and personal, given his affiliation with the Lanvin brand ethic.”

The fashion house also characterized the tie-up as coherent with its legacy, billing founder Jeanne Lanvin as an “arbiter of culture” as well as a fashion designer. Her inner circle included decorator Armand-Albert Rateau, painter Édouard Vuillard, actor Sacha Guitry and writer Louise de Vilmorin.

The brand also noted that Jeanne Lanvin’s daughter and muse, Marguerite, was a musician who frequently collaborated with French composer Francis Poulenc, while Yvonne Printemps, a soprano and actress, served as another house muse in the 1920s.

Keeping this link alive, several of Lanvin’s new accessory lines are named after musical references, including Melodie, Sequence and Concerto.

Lanvin’s Concerto handbag.

Courtesy of Lanvin

Future is bound to bring a buzzy chapter to Lanvin, given his popularity.

He counts 24.3 million followers on Instagram, although the account currently carries only two posts, the last dated Aug. 4: It depicts him with his hands to his face, and the napkins under his sunglasses, but the eye goes to his staggering diamond-studded watch, chains and bracelets.

A prolific recording artist known for his melodies, unique vocal style and use of auto-tune, he has collaborated over the years with the likes of Pusha T, The Weeknd, Drake and Tems, plus Pharrell Williams and Kanye West (now known as Ye), music superstars who both went on to become players in the fashion industry. (Earlier this week, Williams unveiled his debut collection as men’s creative director at Louis Vuitton, and performed with Jay-Z after the show.)

Future, whose real name is Nayvadius DeMun Cash, has an eclectic personal style spanning varsity and souvenir jackets, camouflage, hoodies, trucker caps and mountie hats. Sunglasses and statement-making jewelry are a given.

Shukla described Lanvin’s project with Future as “complete end-to-end co-creation” — a contrast to the ambassadorships with mostly K-pop music stars that European brands are forging at a furious pace.

At his request, Future was “fully engaged in a lengthy creative process of research and work in Paris with the Lanvin studio,” according to Shukla, who organized a tour of the founder’s office, and granted full access to the house archives so the rapper could “effectively communicate and deliberate with the experts and artisans who make up the Lanvin creative studio today.”

The collection is still under wraps, but the executive said it would “incorporate known Lanvin design elements alongside ideas fueled by Future’s creative direction.”

Men’s and women’s ranges represent a “complete lifestyle offer of a modern Lanvin refocused through Future’s unique aesthetic lens,” Shukla said.

It is understood Atlanta-born Future will tip his hat to modern hip-hop, with Lanvin noting noting its influence extends beyond music and entertainment to resonate” throughout broad swathes of contemporary culture today.”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the popular music genre, which has had a tremendous influence on fashion by popularizing styles like oversize pants, logo necklaces and more.  

“The collection is conceived as a democratic range that we believe will appeal to our collective fans and followers and clients across geographies and demographics,” Shukla said, stressing “it is not driven by what we often see in the market as easy collaboration ‘merchandise.’”

“In today’s interconnected world, the strongest brands are multifaceted and multidimensional, and we believe that Future will enhance our connection with a segment of Lanvin’s clientele and audience who relate and aspire to his style,” he continued. “He embodies Renaissance qualities across forms and genres, the arts and philanthropic initiatives, with music defining his culture but not limiting it.”

The collection will debut in drops at Lanvin boutiques, on and through select retailers worldwide.

The new Lanvin Lab project was ushered in a part of a broader reset by the American executive, who joined the French company from Theory at the end of 2021.

Since then, the brand unveiled a rejiggered logo, commissioned two black-and-white Steven Meisel campaigns, and initiated a comprehensive reset of its product strategy. Recent collections have hinged on a quieter form of chic linked to Lanvin’s claim to fame as the oldest fashion house in Paris — in line with a wider trend around heritage luxury.

Last April, it said it would part ways with its creative director Bruno Sialelli after a four-year collaboration and adopt a new creative configuration accentuating leather goods and accessories — plus special projects under the Lanvin Lab banner.

The plan for the latter is to invite proven and rising international talents from an array of disciplines for “creative partnerships,” as reported.

Lanvin does not plan to hew to a fixed calendar for such partnerships, with Shukla ascribing to a “freedom of rhythm, and working in a way that is not opportunistic or overtly programmed. The lab is our way of showing that there are many paths for a fashion house to express itself culturally today.”

Lanvin Group Details Road Map to an IPO – and Tripling in Size by 2025

Lanvin Group Details Road Map to an IPO – and Tripling in Size by 2025

On the road to an initial public offering later this year, Lanvin Group touted itself Wednesday as “the next industry champion” representing “the next generation of luxury.”During a webinar to discuss its SPAC route to Wall Street following a merger with Primavera Capital Acquisition Corp., which was unveiled late on Tuesday, Lanvin Group executives trumpeted its “significant growth prospects” and its ability to nurture and reinvigorate heritage brands.
David Chan, executive president and co-chief operating officer of Lanvin Group, said revenues are projected to almost triple to 989 million euros by 2025 from 333 million euros last year, fueled primarily by the fizzy growth regions of North America and Asia. China’s share of Lanvin Group sales is expected to double to 28 percent by 2025.

Future acquisitions are meant to contribute 114 million euros to coffers by 2025, and potential targets are extremely varied.

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“We are very open-minded,” Chan said, rattling off such possibilities as a “newer” designer label, an accessories or leather goods firm, a manufacturer or fabric developer, digital infrastructure or a consumer-led digital firm.
“Fashion is from A to Z — it’s an ecosystem,” echoed Joann Cheng, chairman and chief executive officer of Lanvin Group. “We’re not only focused on the heritage brands…and not only on majority stakes.”
Meanwhile, the group is expected to reach profitability by 2024. Its operating loss stood at 130 million euros in its pro-forma 2020 tallies.
The Lanvin brand, which recently welcomed Theory executive Siddhartha Shukla as deputy general manager, was the standout performer last year, with revenues in the first nine months of 2021 vaulting 107 percent versus the same period in 2020, with North America rocketing ahead 283 percent.

Lanvin, fall 2022
Courtesy of Lanvin

During a slick presentation of flashing runway clips and even singer Adele emoting in a music video, Chan noted that Lanvin ended 2021 with only 27 stores globally — a fraction of the footprint of Europe’s flagship luxury players, which typically operate between 300 and 400 boutiques worldwide.
Category expansion is a growth path for brands in its existing portfolio, with Chan describing healthy progress made in building a leather goods and sneaker business at Lanvin, and for extending Austrian hosiery expert Wolford into leisure and activewear categories. The luxury company is also home to the Sergio Rossi, St. John and Caruso brands.
He also described vast potential for expansion in online channels, noting that Lanvin Group brands only recently entered the and Farfetch platforms.
Wolford also had a good year, with revenues advancing 63 percent in Greater China and 50 percent in North America.
Asked about time lines for the listing on the New York Stock Exchange, Chan said an audit needs to be completed, and the F-4 registration form should be filed in April. Then the group has to wait for Securities and Exchange Commission regulatory approval. “We’re hoping we can get everything wrapped up by [the third quarter] of this year,” he said.
The merger deal gave Lanvin Group a pro-forma enterprise value of $1.5 billion, with a combined pro-forma equity value of up to $1.9 billion, the companies said. The fashion house will ultimately trade under the symbol “LANV.”  

As part of the deal, Lanvin Group shareholders will roll their shares in the group into the combined venture, giving them a roughly 65 percent stake altogether, as reported. Lanvin Group will receive proceeds of up to $544 million and plans to use the money “for potential future acquisitions that complement its luxury fashion ecosystem.”
“It’s not a cash-out event for anybody,” Chan stressed on Wednesday.
SPAC shareholders have a 28 percent stake of the pro-forma ownership at closing, with FPA investors holding 5 percent.
Cheng said Lanvin Group executives first met Primavera chairman, CEO, and chief financial officer Max Chen in May 2021, and they saw an opportunity to tap into its “deep insights on consumer segments accumulated in Asia and globally,” and a partner that shared its vision of “innovation and digitalization.”
As for the choice of exchange for the listing, she said: “New York is not only a financial hub, it’s also a fashion city.”
For his part, Chen lauded the special-purpose acquisition company as a vehicle to an IPO. “If done with the right partner, and structured properly, SPACs can be a very bespoke and streamlined way for world-class companies to go public, and I think Lanvin Group is a great example.”
He noted that Primavera is also working with its partner ABCI to sponsor a SPAC to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Previously known as Fosun Fashion Group, the firm changed its name in October, when Lanvin Group scored a valuation of better than $1 billion with investments from Japan’s Itochu Corp., Chinese footwear maker Stella International and private equity player Xizhi Capital.
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5 Things To Know About Lanvin’s Ancient Egypt-Inspired FW22 Collection

5 Things To Know About Lanvin’s Ancient Egypt-Inspired FW22 Collection

Creative director Bruno Sialelli delved into the house archives for a collection that nodded to Ancient Egypt, as well as the Art Deco style of the interwar years, when Jeanne Lanvin was at the height of her influence. Here, five key takeaways from the collection.

Ancient Egypt was on the moodboard
Photo: Courtesy of Lanvin
Jeanne Lanvin’s 1920s gowns epitomized Art Deco style, but the motifs that define the movement were shaped thousands of years before in Ancient Egypt – a world that fascinated the couturier. “I find time patterns very interesting to observe,” Sialelli tells Vogue. “Discovering that Jeanne Lanvin was an Egyptophile, and that she traveled to Egypt at a time of big archeological discoveries, made a lot of sense to me in how Egypt informed the Art Deco movement.” These links were explored in the jewelry in particular – worthy of Cleopatra herself.
But there were futuristic influences, too
Photo: Courtesy of Lanvin
There was also more than a hint of sci-fi to the collection, a reflection of the graphic, modern feel Sialelli recognizes in cultural depictions of Egypt. He was among the millions of viewers captivated by Denis Villeneuve’s Dune remake, starring Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet. He was musing on the sci-fi epic – and rewatching David Lynch’s 1984 original – while his fall/winter 2022 collection was in the works, as well as both Cecil B DeMille and Joseph L Mankiewicz’s versions of Cleopatra.
A standout look was all about power
Photo: Courtesy of Lanvin
A little bit like Cleopatra, or Madame Lanvin herself, the collection was created with a powerful woman in mind. Look 20 in particular holds special resonance for Sialelli. The dress “calls for desire and attraction, and at the same time it creates a distance in between the wearer and the viewer”, he says. The spiky textured embroidery could mean “don’t touch me” or “respect me”, according to the creative director. “I love the power it gives to a woman – being attractive, but in control of her own physicality.”
It honored house heritage 
Photo: Courtesy of Lanvin
Lanvin remains about understated opulence
Photo: Courtesy of Lanvin
For Sialelli, the Lanvin woman is sophisticated, but edgy too – and always with a dash of humor. “She has this effortless sense of glamour and understated opulence,” he says. “She embraces her feminist and her power with a certain elegance.”
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Originally published on

Lanvin RTW Fall 2022

Lanvin RTW Fall 2022

The Lanvin x Batman spring collection made headlines this week when Julia Fox wore a metallic silver slipdress from the range, with a Latex bodysuit and coat, natch, to “The Batman” premiere in New York City.
But for fall 2022, designer Bruno Sialelli looked to Jeanne Lanvin as his superhero, mixing her Art Deco, ancient Egyptian references and flou with his contemporary sensibility in womens- and menswear. showed in a short film and presentation.
The result was a mix of sport and tailoring that hit all the trend notes — anoraks, faux furs and bold suiting in crushed velvet or vivid leather, and a sleek black tuxedo catsuit that looked like something for Catwoman herself.

Tailored coats embroidered with polka dots of stacked sequins, a yellow faux fur Cousteau hat and a sweatshirt with an ancient alien graphic spoke to the brand’s streetwear fans. Meanwhile, a rich-looking, washed cream cashmere tailored coat with pink redingote detail, and a sleeveless black shift that peeled away at the bodice to reveal blue velvet fil coupe underneath, spoke to the house’s ladylike side.

Eveningwear shone, including a shimmery Lanvin green sleeveless dress in a subtle stripe pattern embroidered with 130,000 beads that took 400 hours of work.

“This dress for me is power because it’s sort of armor and there’s something sexy about the back, but at the same time, it says ‘respect me,’” Sialelli said.
A sheer slip covered entirely in mukesh embroidery, worn over a crushed velvet bra and panties, was another style begging for a stage.
Sialelli reworked Lanvin’s legendary robes de style, with weightless sculpted volume skirts of silk lace, and flowers traced in caviar beads, and made sweeping dressing gowns of paneled lace, silk and velvet, which were calling out for a red carpet. The veiled headbands were a nice touch, too.
With Maluma’s styling team cycling through the presentation on Saturday afternoon, for one, chances are good we’ll see another Lanvin celebrity moment soon.

Lanvin Taps China’s Mr. Bags for Valentine’s Day Gift Box

Lanvin Taps China’s Mr. Bags for Valentine’s Day Gift Box

LONDON — The battle for China’s heated Valentine’s Day gifting market next year kickstarted early.The Chinese-owned French luxury house Lanvin unveiled on Thursday that it will team up with China’s fashion influencer Tao Liang, commonly known as Mr. Bags, on a Valentine’s Day gift box for the Chinese market.
The set, which will be on sale starting Jan. 14 on Mr. Bags’ WeChat mini-program, is Liang’s first cobranded collaboration with Lanvin. He previously has worked with top brands including Burberry, Tod’s and Longchamp to sell out hundreds of limited-edition bags within minutes.
The Valentine’s Day box comes with a preserved flower box, a bottle of the brand’s Eclat D’arpege perfume and a limited-edition Lanvin Pencil Bag. Only 155 will be made, as 2022 is the brand’s 155th anniversary.

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A Lanvin x Mr. Bags limited-edition Pencil Bag.

The Pencil Bag is inspired by the pencil box that the brand’s founder Jeanne Lanvin always carried. The limited-edition version, made with black box leather, is smaller than the usual model. Each bag will be numbered and has a double heart motif on the left side.
A spokesperson from Lanvin said the collaboration between Lanvin and Liang, during “one of the most important occasions throughout the year,” aims “to reinforce the legend of the oldest French fashion house, and boost Lanvin handbag visibility among the young target audience.”
As for Liang, he wanted to design a bag that can stand out from the crowd for his followers with Lanvin, while paying tribute to the brand founder.
“Many of my fans have already had lots of bags, so I want to offer them a sophisticated, chic and understated choice,” he said.
“The pencil case symbolizes Jeanne Lanvin’s creative spirit, which also made me think of my own pencil case because I also like to write and draw things with my hands. So when I heard about this reference, I felt particularly touched. I hope this special Pencil Bag can accompany my fans at all times and record the beauty of their lives,” he added.
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Theory Taps Ex-Lanvin Men’s Designer Lucas Ossendrijver

Theory Taps Ex-Lanvin Men’s Designer Lucas Ossendrijver

Lucas Ossendrijver, the affable Dutch fashion designer synonymous with Lanvin men’s wear for 14 years, has a new partnership with Theory, WWD has learned.
Ossendrijver is to design men’s and women’s capsule collections “inspired by the urban lifestyle codes of tomorrow” and drawing on his expertise with “activewear-infused hybrid tailoring aesthetic” and his innovative approach to materials, Theory said.
His first collections are to be unveiled next year.
“I am thrilled to be collaborating with Theory, an iconic American brand whose mission presents a fresh creative opportunity at a time of incredible change,” Ossendrijver said.
“This is the start of a new and exciting chapter in the evolution of Theory. We are just beginning a friendship with Lucas, one that I trust will strengthen our commitment to deliver exceptional design and value to our customers,” added Kazumi Yanai, chairman of Theory and Fast Retailing USA.

Known for reinventing men’s wear at Lanvin through the lens of the codes established by the late Alber Elbaz, Ossendrijver forged an identity of his own at the French house, hooked on a youthful approach to tailoring mixed with technical and activewear influences.
Prior to Lanvin, Ossendrijver had stints at brands including Kenzo and Dior Homme, where he worked under Hedi Slimane for three-and-a-half years.
According to Theory, he brings “an expertly trained eye, and shares with the company a collective dedication to exceptional quality and design.”
New York-based Theory has a track record of working with European designers, having collaborated over the years with the likes of Oliver Theyskens and Francesco Fucci.

How Alber Elbaz Created His Electrifying Runway Shows

How Alber Elbaz Created His Electrifying Runway Shows

There’s no better word to describe the atmosphere at Alber Elbaz’s fashion shows for Lanvin, which became a highlight of Paris Fashion Week during his stellar 14-year run at the French house.
The ingredients — friendly ushers in bow ties, food and drink stands and first-name-only seating cards — fostered a convivial, carnival-like atmosphere that was unique during Paris Fashion Week as guests milled around chatting and chewing. When everyone finally settled in, they could expect a runway spectacle that was pure adrenalin.
Mindy Prugnaud, a partner at Paris-based buying office Mint and a close friend of the designer, referred to his Lanvin shows as simply “the Super Bowl.”

No wonder, given the anticipation factor; the steep, stadium-style seating, and the guests closely packed and cheering on a fashion hero.
After his spring 2008 fashion show, Sarah Rutson, then fashion director at Lane Crawford, told WWD she was seduced from the minute she heard her heels tapping on the venue’s wooden floor, “as if I were walking on an old-time dance floor or an old-fashioned seaside promenade.…By the time the white ostrich-feather dress came out, I was sighing and cooing like a woman who had been deprived of clothes all her life.”
“He was an amazing storyteller,” marveled Etienne Russo, who worked with Elbaz on most of his Lanvin shows as founder and chief executive officer at Paris-based production house Villa Eugénie.

Lanvin’s fall 2006 runway show at the Opéra Comique. 
Fairchild Archive/Penske Media

While an exacting showman, Elbaz rarely delivered any specific brief to Russo. Instead he would recount stories, dispatch mood boards and describe “the world where the woman of that season lived.”
And right up until curtain time, the designer pushed everyone to conjure the “best emotions.”
Russo acknowledged there was always a “fun element.” If the dresses were pink that season, Elbaz might settle on a pink cocktail, for example.
“There was always an electricity in the room, from the moment we opened the doors, and he wanted to welcome people in the nicest way,” Russo said in an interview on Tuesday.
But once everyone was crammed onto the bleachers, or shoulder-to-shoulder on folding wooden chairs, Elbaz wanted pulse-pounding drama, achieved with the basic elements of a runway show: models, lighting and music.
Russo said Elbaz was obsessed with creating dramatic lighting, and they would work into the wee hours to perfect it — to the point where “you could recognize a Lanvin show just by the light.”

Lanvin’s spring 2010 fashion show in Paris. 

He typically enlisted Ariel Wizman for the music, and had Russo turn up the volume as the show progressed. It would reach a crescendo with his most extravagant or demonstrative designs.
Elbaz did not rely on elaborate sets, though he sometimes had one dramatic prop. Russo recalled buying an architectural model of a spiral staircase at a farmer’s market in the South of France that had some antique stalls, and he presented it as a gift for Elbaz.
After unwrapping the object, Elbaz placed it at the end of his desk, cleared the surface and walked around to view the perspectives. “And then he looked at me and said, ‘That’s the show.’ I was like, ‘Excuse me?’ And he said, ‘Yes, that’s the show.’” Russo simply magnified the object and voila — Lanvin’s fall 2010 runway spectacle.

Outside Lanvin’s spring 2007 runway show at the École Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts. 
Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

Before the lights went down, Elbaz would also have a word with each of the models, and he “always wanted women to feel confident, sexy, beautiful, strong and powerful,” Russo said.
According to Rutson, Elbaz’s design ethos and regard for women were equivalent to a love letter and “the fashion shows were a moving, living expression of that love.”
Russo said the feeling in the room was palpable, and mutual for the audience: “In those applause, you could feel the love they were giving back.”
See also:
Alber Elbaz Dies at 59

A Look Back at Alber Elbaz’s Most Memorable Quotes

Alber Elbaz Pivots to Tech, Fashion Entertainment

Alber Elbaz’s Funeral Will Take Place in Israel

Alber Elbaz’s Funeral Will Take Place in Israel

Funeral services for Alber Elbaz have been scheduled for noon on Wednesday in Holon, Israel, where the designer grew up and where both of his parents are buried.
One of the most gifted and acclaimed designers of his generation, best known for his spectacular rejuvenation of Lanvin, Elbaz died Saturday at age 59 after a battle with COVID-19.
Details of the service were relayed by Ralph Toledano, president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode. He noted the family hopes to organize a memorial event in Paris for the fashion industry on June 11 on what would have been Elbaz’s 60th birthday.
According to Toledano, Elbaz was the youngest in the family, and is survived by two sisters and a brother.

An ebullient character prized for his couture-like craft and personal charm, Elbaz took a five-year hiatus after being ousted from Lanvin and earlier this year launched AZ Factory, a joint venture with Compagnie Financière Richemont hinged on solutions-driven fashions, entertainment and tech.
Born in Morocco in 1961 and raised and educated in Israel from age 10, the designer moved to New York in the mid-1980s. After a stint at a bridal firm, he landed at Geoffrey Beene, working as his senior assistant for seven years.
Elbaz came onto the international radar when he was recruited by Toledano to helm Guy Laroche in Paris in 1996, a stint that won raves, media attention and the job offer of a lifetime: to succeed couture legend Yves Saint Laurent at the helm of Rive Gauche ready-to-wear in 1998.
After three seasons, Elbaz was fired in the wake of Gucci Group’s takeover of YSL, with Tom Ford picking up the design reins. Elbaz subsequently did one season with Krizia in Milan before sitting on the sidelines of the business for one year.
He eventually landed at Lanvin in 2001 and catapulted it into fashion’s big leagues with his soigné cocktail dresses, artfully draped gowns, chunky costume jewelry and ballet flats. He was part of the vanguard in Paris that launched an enduring trend of couture-influenced French elegance — and gave the French capital new buzz.
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The Industry Reacts to Alber Elbaz’s Passing

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The Industry Reacts to Alber Elbaz’s Passing

The Industry Reacts to Alber Elbaz’s Passing

Alber Elbaz, who died Saturday age 59, was one of the most popular figures in the fashion industry, striking up friendships with his fellow designers, actresses, editors, retail executives and industry titans alike.
On Sunday, they expressed shock and sorrow over the loss of a great design talent and an inspiring personality. Here’s what they told WWD:
Bernard Arnault: “With the sudden passing of Alber Elbaz, the fashion industry has lost a bright and sensitive designer. His creativity, both irreverent and elegant, has left a long-lasting mark in fashion. He breathed renewed and vibrant life into one of the oldest and most iconic French heritage brands.”
François-Henri Pinault: “It is with profound sadness that I have learned of the passing of a dear friend, Alber Elbaz. He was a man appreciated by all, for his humanity and exceptional humor. He was also a creative genius admired for his style that brought together femininity with modernity.”

Giorgio Armani: “It is with great sadness that I learn of the death of Alber Elbaz: one of the few professionals remaining in the world of fashion; a creative capable of making women beautiful, always and in any way. We met, I don’t remember in which airport, and he stopped me to congratulate me on my work and he seemed absolutely sincere. His ability to reinvent a certain kind of woman will be missed.”

Maria Grazia Chiuri, Dior: “Alber’s career was extraordinary in its complexity, but undoubtedly one of his most important contributions to fashion has been to imagine and create an interpretation of glamor that was cultured, feminine, fun, human. Alber designed with people in mind. And for all of us creative directors who face the heritage of a brand on a daily basis, how he re-activated the history of Maison Lanvin is still an extraordinary lesson, his delicate and irreverent inventions, his ability to make the atmospheres and the fashion of a storied brand contemporary. I remember a special dinner at Le Meurice with Alber and my mother. During that evening, they were incredibly in tune with one another, they chatted without any interruption. The next day, my mother received a bouquet of beautiful flowers from Alber. She then made sure I would send him her home-made jams. This is how I like to remember him: In an intimate way, as part of my family.”
Ralph Lauren: “Alber was such a kind man, so generous and humble. Whenever we met either at special events or running into each other on the street – he always greeted me with such warmth, and we laughed like old friends. As a designer I loved how he really cared about women – making them feel beautiful and comfortable. Lately he was concerned that fashion was getting too loud, and he said he preferred ‘whispering.’ His whisperings will continue to be heard in the beauty of what he created and how he lived.”
Pierpaolo Piccioli, Valentino: “The world of fashion has lost one of its biggest treasure and I’ve lost a true, honest, special friend. When I made my first step as a creative director, he welcomed me as no other did. He was able to infuse his soul into his work by creating an aesthetic that spoke so loudly of his colorful, sparkling, and intense joie de vivre. I will miss him, but I will find relief by admiring the legacy of his work that will remind all of us how huge his talent was and how his vision of beauty, his human approach to fashion will always remain peerless. Ciao Alber, keep on inspiring all of us. Thank you for all you have done. It will stay with us.”

Stella McCartney: “I am so saddened by this shocking loss. Alber was a one-off genius… a creator in every sense of the word. He was, first and foremost, one of the sweetest, cheekiest, playful and kindest people I have met. But he was also one of the greatest talents fashion has had the privilege of experiencing. His work will live on forever… he will live in our hearts forever… to be sadly sadly missed. This is heartbreaking news.”
Rick Owens: “Truly sad. His warmth and exquisite hand and light touch will leave a big hole in this industry. He lived in my neighborhood and we hung out on my terrace eating homemade persimmon cookies my mom would ship to me. Every time I would run into him on our street, he would always rhapsodize over them. I am sorry my mom never had the chance to meet him.”

Maria Grazia Chiuri, Alber Elbaz and Pierpaolo Piccioli 
Stephane Feugere/WWD

Tommy Hilfiger: “Alber Elbaz became a friend in the 90’s. I loved his sense of humor but mostly his down-to-earth demeanor. I adored his transformation of Lanvin but more than that his verbal description of how he listened to the consumer and actually cared was inspiring. I vividly remember him speaking about all of this while wearing his signature oversized black solid bow tie. He will be missed by so many friends and fans who worshiped him. It is a sad day.”
Jean Paul Gaultier: “Alber was very talented, and he knew very well how to understand and dress women for so many years! And before leaving us, he dreamed up and created a concept collection, adapted to the new worldWell done and thank you Alber!”
Christian Louboutin: “Alber was a free spirit and a beautiful soul! Not only was he thinking and acting ‘outside the box,’ but his dedication to his work was total. He worshiped fashion when it represented excellence, creativity and real points of view. In that sense, he was and will remain a role model for me and so many others. …Dear Alber, you will not only be remembered as a fantastic, one-of-a-kind couturier, but also as a truly nice guy!”
Dries Van Noten: “A bright light, stellar peer and ebullient talent. Alber’s legacy will prevail in fashion history. Our world has dimmed on his passing. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Alex [Koo] and all of Alber’s family, friends and colleagues.”

José Neves, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Farfetch: “We are unbelievably sad and shocked that Alber has died. He was inspiring and inspired, and brought to all of his work his talent, warmth, intelligence and humor. His designs made women feel empowered and joyful – both in his work at Lanvin, and more recently with AZ Factory, which we were so honored to have launched with him. The fashion community will miss him terribly and we send love to everyone who knew him.”
Anna Dello Russo: “He was a true fashion designer and also among the first to talk about inclusivity in fashion as he embraced all kinds of women regardless of their personality, body shape and age. He was an avant-garde designer with a sharp vision and was also a skilled communicator, using drawings and comic strips that were digital-friendly even before the digital medium gained steam. On top of that he was a man with a great sense of humor and humanity, and he was incredibly friendly and empathetic. He always made you feel at ease, you could spend hours talking to him, touching on different subjects and feel at his same level. At his Lanvin shows, in the front row, our first names were usually penned on the chairs, creating a sense of familiarity because it was not about our job title or our surname. It made you feel welcomed as if you were sitting at his home’s dining table.”
Linda Fargo, senior vice president of the fashion office and store presentation for Bergdorf Goodman: “As soon as you hear the name Alber Elbaz, there is an unanimous feeling of warmth and job, and dare I say – love! A reaction rarely felt in absolute unity in an often divided industry. Losing Alber so suddenly is a blow and deep loss both to the industry, the very future of it, and to all of us who were lucky enough to be in his extraordinary orbit. We can’t ask more from a designer than to change the course of style, create desire, enhance our lives, and create what didn’t exist before. Alber gave us all of the above. He loved us women – ALL types, sizes and varietals of beauty. I think he was very sensitive about ideas of beauty and self-acceptance, as he himself struggled with issues of self love, so he worked it out to a great degree on all his lucky friends and clients. He lived through a lot of professional hurts, but was ultimately triumphant! His tenure at Lanvin was unparalleled. His shows were perhaps the most anticipated of the four-city marathon – they were always a beautiful circus! Always playful, unexpected but also    full-on striking fashion at its best! His unique mix of riffs on couture elements with raw details stood out. Even though he was Moroccan/Israeli, there was something about his work which was ultimately Parisian, especially for the storied Lanvin. It was a huge misstep for that house to have lost him. They never recovered. I’m not sure we will ever quite recover from losing him either, and just as he was on the cusp of his next chapter with the much anticipated AZ Factory. He would have helped to reshape the way forward with more inclusive, more sustainable, less disposable design which would finally break some of the traps and harmful industry practices. Alber was extra sensitive and intelligent. You could always count of him for a fresh take on wisdom. Once he said to me, during the height and frenzy of Lanvin – “I don’t ever want to be an it-girl, because as soon as you’re an it-girl, you’re an out-girl.” And of course he was right. This is a painful reckoning today, to think we won’t see him again in those glasses, his new beach boy hair, his hands humbly pushing into his pockets, and to not hear what more he would have to teach and show us…I think I join an entire industry in saying goodbye with a very heavy heart, weighted down by our love for him.”

Tom Ford: “I am deeply shocked and saddened to hear of Alber’s death. Stunned really. He was a completely wonderful person and a great and talented designer. A true gentleman. Kind, funny, clever and someone that I was always happy to see. In fact, I think that most people were always happy to see Alber as he had a genuine warmth about him. He was be greatly missed.”
Donna Karan:  “He was so, so special. Really beyond special. He was a love and brilliantly talented. I am in shock. He was funny, he was light,  and he was Mr. Fashion.  I’ll never forget his [Lanvin] windows and  mannequins. He had such a personal touch. He was not “Do Not Touch Me,” he was a guy you just wanted to hug. He had such style – his short pants, his funky hair, he made fashion light and he did it with such integrity. I was proud of what was going to happen next and a new dimension.”
Michael Kors: “Alber was a brilliant talent, fully committed to making women feel their best. Hysterically funny, smart, and entertaining, he understood the balance between theater and reality. I ran into him and his partner Alex very late one night while they installed the windows at the new Lanvin store in Milan. We laughed and said, ‘it’s all about he details and the joy you find in the work.’ My thoughts are with Alex and all the people who were so enriched by knowing Alber and the women he dressed.”
Diane von Furstenberg: “I met Alber when he was an assistant to Geoffrey Beene. I had to go to a wedding in London and he (Alber really) made me a pale green gingham silk coat with a halter dress. It was very beautiful and unexpected. I later got to know him better. Many years later he also told me that he came to me for an interview for a job, but I have no recollection. My loss. He was a very talented designer, very detail oriented and made very pretty clothes. He shall be missed.”
Gabriela Hearst:  “The genuine outpouring of love that is springing out in our industry is a testament of his generosity. We lost an inclusive, kind and exceptional talent – an example of how we should treat each other.”
Tracy Margolies, chief merchant at Saks Fifth Avenue: “Alber was not only a creative spirit who transformed the house of Lanvin with his immense talent, but also a dear friend of Saks. His sense of humor, kind heart and gentle soul will be sorely missed.”

Ken Downing, Triple Five’s chief creative officer and former senior vice president/ fashion director at Neiman Marcus:   “Alber was all heart, love and light. There are no words that can begin to express the enormity of his exceptional and rare talent. It will always be Alber’s gentle spirit and enormous heart, that will be my strongest memory of him. A heart that flowed through his hands into his work, his words and his endless energy that touched everyone he encountered. Alber knew no strangers. An Alber show was always an epic of glamour and joie de vivre, a seduction of the senses that delighted all, but more remarkable than the creativity of the catwalk was the overwhelming, pure rapture and enthusiasm that erupted when Alber appeared to take his bow. This was not polite applause, this was unbridled, uncontrollable love for Alber. Alber was a rock star. The adoring crowds of press, retailers and clients that waited what often seemed an eternity to share in his joy after a show  were a constant reminder he was far more than a designer of dreams, he has touched them all like a friend. In his always bustling showroom, the appearance of Alber (and not uncommon) brought everyone to their feet, everyone wanted to be in the glow of Alber.  Alber, a gentle soul who was truly loved by so, so many, he will be truly missed.”
Madison Cox, president of the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent: “It’s very sad that with the disappearance of Alber Elbaz, the craft of fashion has lost one of the few clear and concise and intelligent voices. Elbaz always created to serve women in a contemporary modern context rather than serving himself or what so many do which is cut and paste. His spirit of joy and innovation will remain. On behalf of the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Lauren and the entire équipe, I extend our most heartfelt condolences to his partner and family.”
Marylou Luther: “As I wipe away the tears, here, in is own words, says it all about Alber.  (This is a quote he gave me for the book I’m working on) “When we designers became creative directors we had to become image makers. We had to make sure everything looks good in pictures. The screen has to scream, baby. So loudness became the new thing. Loudness is the new, new, and not only in fashion. I prefer whispering. I think it goes deeper and lasts longer.’ May his whispers be heard forever.”

Sandy Schreier, fashion historian and collector:  “Whenever I hear those words: ‘passion for fashion,’ I will always think of Alber…sweet, kind and, oh so passionate!”
Andrew Burnstine, associate professor at Lynn University’s College of Business and Management, who is the grandson of Martha’s founder and chairwoman Martha Phillips: “Martha [Phillips] did a trunk show in her Park Avenue salon with Geoffrey Beene in the mid 1980s. Alber accompanied Geoffrey on one of the first days of the show. When one customer asked Geoffrey if he could make a particular evening  dress for an upcoming affair, Alber sketched something that was so exquisite, that both the customer and Martha ordered the dress. Geoffrey later included the dress as an addition to that year’s collection.”
Herve Pierre, designer and stylist: “I am just thinking of all the people who loved him, and how the world of fashion is under the darkest black clouds that we haven’t seen since Alexander McQueen died. I cannot find the words…devastating.”
Sue Nabi, chief executive officer of Coty Inc.: “You have been a great friend, a great man, an outstanding artist and a genius. You were an all forms of beauty lover and a pioneer. Moreover, a very caring human and part of the family. We will miss you… Rest in peace, my friend. Hand in hand forever.”

A Look Back at Alber Elbaz’s Most Memorable Quotes

A Look Back at Alber Elbaz’s Most Memorable Quotes

Alber Elbaz often said fashion is about storytelling — and he could talk up a storm.

From Seventh Avenue fashion-speak to deep thoughts about clothes, he dispensed plenty of wisdom over a storied fashion career.
Here, some of his most memorable quotes from WWD:
ON FASHION’S IMPORTANCE: “My conclusion today is that fashion is very important, today maybe more than ever, because we fashion designers maybe have a role. We have the duty to bring beauty to the world, to make women feel better, to make women feel good, to uplift them. Today, I was at Barneys for a couple of hours — we had a trunk show. There was this woman I was helping, and she told me at the end of this little rendezvous we had, ‘I am going to be broke, but I am happy.’ I think this is the whole idea of what fashion is going to do today, and I am saying that, when everything is crashing, maybe it’s not a bad idea to invest in a good dress.” (2008)

ON COLLABORATION: “I know the worst enemy of many designers is the ceo. I think that, in a way, the most frustrating ceo will tell me that we cannot control the designer. I didn’t think it’s about controlling the designers, and it’s not about enemies, because we are not in a war. It’s peace. I believe it’s all about collaboration. It’s all about dialogue. And this is what this industry is looking for.” (2008)

ON DESIRE: “I was working here with Geoffrey Beene when I came to America. I didn’t speak English very well. I remember one day I told Mr. Beene in a fitting, ‘Mr. Beene, that dress is so commercial.’ Mr. Beene turned orange, and told me, ‘Alber, don’t ever use the word commercial. Say desirable.’ This is the time that I knew I was introduced to the world of desire.” (2008)
ON THE ESSENCE OF LANVIN: “When I looked at the archives; the one word that came to me back and forth was ‘desire.’ So I worked around that and I said, ‘You know we are going to make collections for women, we are going to actually emphasize the desire, the desire in fashion, the desire in design.’ I was very much into design because I came from the house of Geoffrey Beene, which was all about design, and then we pushed it also to desire, to women, to reality, to be relevant. I think to be relevant is the story of my life.” (2012)
ON DRESSES: “I think that I was very alert to women, and I am seeing more and more that women are changing. Their lifestyle is becoming more and more complex and more and more difficult on a daily basis. So I was trying always to simplify their life. For instance, dresses in the first collection, a lot of people said they were very romantic, I didn’t see the romantic side of the dresses; I saw the easiness, the simplicity. I saw waking up in the morning and having your kids, and your husband and your mother on the phone, and your work calling you, that was before the SMS, like 10 years ago, now they do that as well. Women need something a little bit more easy in their wardrobe, instead of thinking every morning what goes with what, they just zip it in and at night zip it out.” (2012)
ON MODERNITY: “Every time I think about modern, I always think about something awful and ugly, and all I am trying to do is think that modern can be beautiful. Modernity is not black leather, and modernity is not 17 zippers and modernity is not rock ’n’ roll or heavy metal. Modernity for me is beautiful and emotional and comfortable and timeless. I mean, to see a woman sitting on 50 meters of tulle, I am not sure it’s modern.” (2012)

ON PRE-COLLECTIONS: “I think that I’m the first one who started presenting pre-collection, which was the biggest mistake of my life. I did the Hôtel de Crillon thing and I invited like 10 editors and a few retailers and I thought, How wonderful just to have tea with beautiful flowers and to talk about flowers and fashion. And then more people wanted to come, and we did a second show, and then more people wanted to come and we had to turn it into a season. Now, the fact is that almost everything that is in the store is all about that pre-collection.” (2014)
ON SELF-DOUBT: “I wish I could tell you, Oh, it’s becoming better. I always remember one night before one of the couture shows I saw Mr. Saint Laurent and I asked him how he was feeling and he said, ‘Very bad!’ And I said, ‘Why? But after all these years?’ And he replied, ‘Because of all these years.’ And I thought, how smart and how intelligent and how sensitive that answer was, and I’m using it. (2014)
ON INSTINCT: “I work mostly by intuition. Every time I think too much and try to rationalize every issue, it doesn’t work. I think that intuition is the essence of this métier. I know that we’re getting into marketing and all that, but you know what? The fact that a woman bought a white shirt last season does not mean that this is what you’re going to sell her next season. …That’s what designers are all about —otherwise who needs us?” (2014)
ON FASHION PEOPLE: “I think we are a beautiful industry. We are one of the nicest industries in the world, you know? I go sometimes to parties of different industries — and I will not mention so as not to hurt anyone around. But I can tell you that fashion — even though we always sound fake and affected and ignorant and all of the above, maybe — I have to tell you that in fashion I met a lot of great friends, good people, loyal, smart, talented, hard-working.” (2014)
ON LOUDNESS: ““We designers started as couturiers with dreams, with intuitions and with feelings. We started with, ‘What do women want? What do women need? What can I do for women to make their lives better and easier? How can I make a woman more beautiful?’ That is what we used to do,. Then we became creative directors, so we have to create, but mostly direct. And now we have to become image-makers, making sure it looks good in the pictures. The screen has to scream baby — that’s the rule. And loudness is the new thing. Loudness is the new cool, and not only in fashion. I prefer whispering. I think it goes deeper and lasts longer.” (2015)

See Also:
Alber Elbaz Dies at 59
Alber Elbaz Will Return to Fashion Via Film, Not Runway
Alber and Lanvin — Fashion’s Latest Split

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