The Return of Elbaz

Five years after his abrupt departure from Lanvin, France’s oldest haute couture firm, Alber Elbaz is reentering the fashion world. After rumors of him taking over Raf Simons position at Dior and later potentially replacing Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, Elbaz surprised us all with the reveal of his new joint venture with Richemont, a Switzerland-based luxury goods company. AZFashion is Elbaz’s “dream factory”, focused on developing fashionable solutions for women. In an interview, Alber Elbaz claimed that the company wasn’t about him or the price, “it’s going to be about we and us. And it’s going to go from A to Z.”

Alber Elbaz was fired in October 2015 after disagreements with the company’s major shareholder, Shaw-Lan Wang. Since joining the company in 2001 as creative director, Elbaz spent 14 years building Lanvin into the luxurious brand it is today. When taking over the creative position in 2001, Lanvin was a century-old brand on the edge of departure. Elbaz took the company into his hands and used his creativity and passion to turn it into one of the hottest brands in Paris.


Besides a collaboration here or there with Tod’s and LeSportsac, or the occasional engagements, Alber Elbaz has kept a low profile. After Lanvin, Elbaz claimed he had lost inspiration; he struggled to sketch or move on to something new. Which, who could blame him? You build a company up and give it your all 24/7 for 14 years to then get fired, how do you move on right away?

AZFashion is going to be different, according to Elbaz. Elbaz refers to the label as a “start-up” that will be project based. “We are not going to do pre-collections, collections, post-collections,” Elbaz said. “It’s going to be about things I believe are relevant to make.”

No real detail has been shared about what we should expect from this new label. But, many are excited about the solutions for women’s beauty standards in the industry. It has been said that when working at Lanvin, Elbaz left women feeling “beautiful, confident, and, importantly, happy”. Women around the globe only hope he continues to bring his timeless yet fresh designs to AZFashion.

The company will be based in Paris, but no other information about its reveal has been released. But, it’s quite obvious that if Alber Elbaz is involved, the world will surely be waiting.

•To learn more about the new campaign, visit: Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, or The New York Times.•

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