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Alber Elbaz Dies — and the Industry Remembers Him – WWD

Albert Elbaz Not the first fashion designer and industry insider to lose to COVID-19, but his death at age 59 on April 24 provided a shock to the budding concept of pandemic recovery. supported by vaccines.

Industry giants, retailers, and designers all remember Elbaz’s bubbly personality and his unmistakable husband, an irreverent creator of fun and smart womenswear, fellow was a steadfast, loving and generous friend.

As Christian Louboutin put it, Elbaz left a legacy as “a wonderful, one-of-a-kind creator, but also a really nice guy”.

Kering’s president and chief executive officer, François-Henri Pinault, mourned his “dear friend… a man appreciated by all, for his humanity and exceptional humour.” as well as “a creative genius admired for his style that fuses femininity with modernity”.

Describing him as “a bright and sensitive designer”, LVMH President Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Bernard Arnault, highlighted Elbaz’s “creative, carefree and elegant” which helped him to leaves a lasting mark and breathes life on Lanvin, “one of the oldest and most iconic French heritage brands. ”

But there is one word that has returned to the regularity of the hands, almost eclipsing a stellar record that includes the tenure of Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, his spectacular 14-year rejuvenation of Lanvin and more recently, the fashion startup AZ Factory he started as a joint venture with Compagnie Financière Richemont.

“As soon as you hear the name Albert ElbazLinda Fargo, senior vice president of fashion office and boutique presentation at Bergdorf Goodman, where Elbaz said: .

“We all love Alber for who he is, what he does – everything,” says Dries Van Noten, who feels the late designer added joy, happiness and joy in his life. fashion.

His secret formula is to “put love and people at the heart of his work. “He has an absolute aspiration and promotes modernity,” said Ralph Toledano, president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode. , said, noting the designer’s acumen and willingness to spend “time and distance reinventing his fashion work between know-how and innovation. ”

Excited by his intelligence and then bathed in his warmth, his work acquaintances often become friends. Johann Rupert, Richemont founder and president, wrote in a statement confirming the designer’s departure, and this sentiment has been echoed by even those who may have once been professional opponents.

Consider Tom Ford, who came to helm Yves Saint Laurent design after Elbaz was fired when the Gucci Group took over the label, and who remembers him as “a true gentleman. Kind, funny, intelligent, and someone I’m always happy to meet. In fact, I think most people are always happy to see Albert because he has a real warmth about him. ”

Acknowledging the loss of “one of its greatest treasures” by the fashion world, Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli has “lost a true, honest, special friend” who was “welcome” [him] like no one else did” when the Italian designer started working as a creative director. Solace comes from “admiring his legacy of work that will remind us all of [Elbaz’s] His talent and vision of beauty, his human approach to fashion will always be unmatched. ”

While the industry is unanimous for his lack of talent, spirit and passion for life, dozens of anecdotes reveal his human side, possibly stopping Giorgio Armani at the airport to congratulate him. glad he worked; say hello and soon laugh like old friends with Ralph Lauren; The mother of glamorous Maria Grazia Chiuri, who made sure her daughter brought pots of homemade jam, and hung out with neighbor Rick Owens to share the pink cookies made by the American designer’s mother send to.

Those who worked with him praised his dedicated nature, such as Alithia Spuri-Zampetti, who worked under Elbaz in Lanvin, and credit him for teaching her “everything” [she] know,” for seven years.

Joy also emerged as an essential quality for Elbaz, with Schiaparelli’s Daniel Roseberry remarking that unlike designers whose trajectories are often fueled by “this very tortured or tragic part” , joie de vivre by Elbaz is “the backdrop for that… .As other designers really are. Emphasizing the darkness and selfishness of their own emotions, Alber is truly service-oriented. “

Or as Donna Karan put it: “He’s not ‘Don’t touch me’, he’s a guy you just want to cuddle.”

Retailers around the world have named his innovative spirit, lust-inducing ability and deep love for women that make him make sure they feel beautiful and empowered to set him apart from his peers. José Neves, Farfetch’s founder, president, and chief executive officer described him as “inspirational and inspired,” while Jim Gold, CEO of Moda Operandi, called Elbaz “one of one of the many.” the most talented and important fashion designer” – although the human designer is his best favorite feature.

Mindy Prugnaud, a partner at the Mint purchasing office and a close friend of the designer, says at his shows – things are always expected and always exciting like the “Super Bowl.” , said: was greeted by bowtie Americans offering cocktails and snacks. “Our names are often written on the chair, creating a sense of belonging because it has nothing to do with our job title or our last name. It made you feel as welcome as if you were sitting at his dinner table,” recalls Anna Dello Russo.

“Alber is all heart, love and light,” said Ken Downing, former senior vice president and fashion director at Neiman Marcus, who went on to describe the reaction to Elbaz’s shows as “those of the best” impolite applause, this is unbridled, uncontrollable love for Alber “Coming from the “crowd that loves the press, retailers and customers” who will be waiting for him later performance for “him” [had] making them all feel like a friend.”

For Sarah Rutson, then fashion director at Lane Crawford, Elbaz’s design ethos and esteem for women is tantamount to a love letter and “the fashion show is a living expression, the emotion of that love”.

His last is no exception. The love for Elbaz culminated at AZ Factory’s “Love Brings Love” tribute show last October, which saw Elbaz’s wish fulfilled to unite the fashion family. and celebrate their creativity and their hearts — though “one night is too short to tell how much he means to me,” says Oliver Rousteing.

French First Lady Brigitte Macron; Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo; actress Demi Moore; Luxury behemoths Pinault, Diego Della Valle, Marc Puig and Antoine Arnault, plus one of the top designers attended an electrifying show that saw top designers , heritage brands, and his team at AZ Factory, each crafting a homage look, using his toolbox of duffles, duffles, ruffles, bows, industrial zippers, and colors candy.

As the cannons blasted confetti in the shape of hearts and the patterns whirled to the sound of O’Jays’ 70s hit “Love Train,” the applause resounded.

As Etienne Russo, who has worked with Elbaz on most of his Lanvin shows as founder and CEO at Paris-based producer Villa Eugénie, puts it, “in the long run. those applause, you can feel the love they give.”

https://wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/year-in-review-alber-elbaz-dies-and-the-industry-remembers-him-1235020645/ Alber Elbaz Dies — and the Industry Remembers Him – WWD

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