Alber Elbaz

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Alber Elbaz (born 1961) is a Moroccan Israeli fashion designer. Elbaz worked for the Paris fashion house Lanvin from 2001 until October 2015.[1][2][3]


Alber Elbaz was born on June 12, 1961 in Casablanca, Morocco. He immigrated to Israel with his family at the age of 10 and grew up in Holon.[4][5] After serving in the Israeli Defense Forces, he studied at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Ramat Gan. His life partner is Alex Koo, Lanvin's director of marketing.[6]

Fashion career[edit]

Lanvin store, Monte Carlo

In 1985, Elbaz moved to New York City and spent two years working for a manufacturer of mother-of-the-bride clothing, George F Couture. He then worked for Geoffrey Beene for seven years.[7] He says he was influenced by Beene's rejection of trends and masterful drape and fit. "It was a very beautiful relationship.... Our best dialogue was not in words," Elbaz has reminisced.[8]

In 1997, Elbaz left Beene and, through retailer Dawn Mello, was hired by the firm of Guy Laroche. But, by the time of Elbaz's arrival, the Laroche enterprise had become overly conservative and lackluster. Even so, Elbaz was able to update the collection and somewhat enhance the image of the firm, whose activities at the time included the management of 15 boutiques and 70 license agreements worldwide. However, he departed within a year, 1998, and began designing ready-to-wear women's clothing for Yves Saint Laurent, because Saint-Laurent himself wished to withdraw from his hands-on design of prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear). In the position, Elbaz's talent was recognized, and he was groomed to become the head designer of the house when Saint Laurent retired. This was not to happen, because the Gucci Group purchased YSL Rive Gauche, the ready-to-wear label, and Gucci design director Tom Ford dismissed Elbaz after three collections. Elbaz instead began working for Krizia in Italy and designed a well-received inaugural collection.

In October 2001, Elbaz was appointed artistic director of Lanvin in Paris. In August 2001, the company was purchased by investor group Harmonie S.A., led by Shaw-Lan Wang, a Taiwanese media magnate, who hired Elbaz. On October 28, 2015, Lanvin announced that it severed ties with Elbaz, who separately stated that his removal was “the decision of the company’s majority shareholder.”[9][10]

Art and graphics[edit]

In 2006, Elbaz introduced new packaging for Lanvin, featuring a light forget-me-not blue color, a favorite shade which Lanvin purportedly had seen in a Fra Angelico fresco. Packaging included shopping bags imprinted with Paul Iribe's 1907 illustration of Lanvin and her daughter Marguerite, and shoe boxes designed like antique library files, tied with black ribbons to emphasize the precious nature of the product.

Elbaz illustrated the song "Lady Jane" in singer-songwriter Mika's extended play "Songs for Sorrow."

In 2012, Elbaz published a book of 3,000 photographs documenting the work of Lanvin.[11]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Elbaz's simple, feminine clothing, which has been compared to Lanvin's 1920s outfits, has been lauded by the fashion press. Suzy Menkes wrote: "Elbaz is every woman's darling. And that includes Nicole, Kate, Chloë Sevigny, Sofia Coppola and a slew of rising movie names."[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Tatler List". Tatler. 
  2. ^ "Couture for Everyday". LUX Magazine. September 2013.
  3. ^ "Alber Elbaz Pushed Out at Lanvin". WWD. Retrieved 2015-10-28. 
  4. ^ Lanvin's Facebook page
  5. ^ Vogue's Alber Elbaz Biography
  6. ^ The New Yorker:Profil Alber Ebaz
  7. ^ The Time 100, Natalie Portman
  8. ^ Suzy Menkes, International Herald Tribune, May 24, 2005
  9. ^ "Alber Elbaz Pushed Out at Lanvin". WWD. Retrieved 2015-10-28. 
  10. ^ Friedman, Vanessa (2015-10-28). "Alber Elbaz Leaving Lanvin as Fashion’s Slippery Slope Claims Another Designer". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-10-28. 
  11. ^ The Inside Story of a Couture Dream in the Making
  12. ^ The Time 100, Natalie Portman May 03, 2007
  13. ^ "Honorary Doctors". RCA. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  14. ^ "At Lanvin, a master of improvisation", Suzy Menkes, International Herald Tribune, May 24, 2005

External links[edit]