Albert Elbaz : Fashion as medicine

Its awards

2005 : International Fashion Award, Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)
2006 : Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur
2007 : The Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion, FIT (New York)
2007 : The Design Star Award, The Internatinal Fashion Group
2009 : The Grande Médaille de Vermeil, city of Paris
2010 : The Best International Designer Award, Telva Magazine
2010 : The Best Designer of the year award, Fashion Accessories Council (New York)
2014 : Honorary doctorate awarded by the Royal College of Art
2015 : Superstar Award, Fashion Group International (FGI)
2016 : Officer of the Légion d’Honneur

Magazine Anitidote

“I am a kind of doctor” Albert Elbaz used to say. His prescription for getting better : a red dress !

Cash, he used to follow his instinct straight to his goal and his passion. “I want to work with people I love and do what I love” he said.

Generous, whimsical, full of humour, a gourmand and a lover of all women, fashion was his way of expression and fertility.

For him, “clothing is not a work of art (…). It must live” He wanted to sublimate women through lines that were elegant and glamorous, but also modern, practical and comfortable : ample, colourful volumes to embrance life to the full, shiny materials, hearts, ruffles and big bows to celebrate feminity.

Birth and studie

Born on 12 June 1961 in Casablanca, Morocco, Alber Elbaz has become one of the most influential figures in the fashion industry thanks to his resilience and passion for design.

Elbaz’s interest in fashion began at an early age, influenced by his mother’s elegant style and the vibrant culture of Morocco. After graduating from the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Tel Aviv, Israel, he embarked on a career in fashion and moved to New York in the late 1980s.

An exceptional career

In New York, Elbaz’s talent quickly caught the attention of industry insiders and he began working for renowned designers such as Geoffrey Beene. His time in Beene’s studio gave him invaluable experience and laid the foundations for his future success in the fashion world.

In 1996, Elbaz’s career reached a turning point when he was appointed creative director of Guy Laroche, a prestigious French fashion house. His tenure at Guy Laroche was marked by fresh thinking and innovative designs that revitalised the brand’s image, earning him widespread acclaim from the fashion community.

However, it was Elbaz’s tenure at Lanvin from 2001 that cemented his status as a visionary designer. As creative director of Lanvin, Elbaz redefined modern luxury with his signature blend of elegance, femininity and whimsy. His collections feature meticulous tailoring, luxurious fabrics and unexpected details, captivating fashion lovers around the world.

Under Elbaz’s direction, Lanvin has experienced a renaissance, achieving critical and commercial success with each season. His designs were celebrated for their timeless appeal and ability to transcend trends, earning him a following of celebrities, fashion editors and discerning consumers.

An endearing visionary

Beyond his creative prowess, Elbaz was admired for his humility, warmth and genuine passion for his craft. He approached fashion with joy and empathy, infusing his collections with a sense of humanity and emotion that resonated deeply with the public.

Throughout his career, Elbaz has collaborated with a variety of brands and institutions, including H&M, Acne Studios and Converse, extending his influence beyond the realm of haute couture. His collaborations are characterised by his distinctive aesthetic and commitment to creating accessible yet ambitious designs.

In 2015, Elbaz’s tenure at Lanvin came to an unexpected end when he was abruptly fired. Despite this setback, he continued his creative endeavours, captivating audiences with his infectious enthusiasm and boundless creativity.

On 24 April 2021, the fashion world was tragically shaken by the news of Elbaz’s untimely death at the age of 59, prompting a wave of tributes around the world as colleagues, friends and admirers mourned the loss of a true visionary.

Elbaz’s legacy lives on through his timeless designs, profound influence and unwavering spirit. He remains an icon of creativity, innovation and compassion, inspiring future generations of designers to follow in his footsteps and redefine the boundaries of fashion.

In the annals of fashion history, Alber Elbaz will be remembered not only for his extraordinary talent, but also for his kindness, generosity and unwavering commitment to creating beauty in the world. His impact transcends the catwalk, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all those who have had the privilege of discovering his genius.