When Alber Elbaz announced his impending departure from the fashion house of Lanvin, admirers of his work reacted even more heartbroken than they were of the also just recently revealed news of Raf Simons leaving his post at Christian Dior. (That update felt more shocking to insiders).
The Morrocan-born, Israeli Elbaz was the creative director of Lanvin for fourteen years and during his tenure he completely revitalized a once forgotten French label and made it one of the top high-end lines in the world. From the older generation to the new school kids of today loved his designs that pleasingly mixed sexy with humor.
Who knew that on October 1 as the runway show for Lanvin’s Spring/Summer 2016 show ended, that it would be Elbaz’s last bow for them. It was reported that the move was made by “the company’s majority shareholder” aka Shaw-Lan Wang, a notable that works with the umbrella that holds Lanvin. The decision to remove Elbaz feels odd considering the level of respect and fandom he gave Lanvin, as well as his own admirable clout. Women’s Wear Daily wrote, and it reads like an obituary for Elbaz, that ultimately his end was the result of “disagreements between the charismatic Israeli designer and company principals: Wang and chief executive officer Michèle Huiban.” WWD also included that Elbaz’s former team of associate designers and Lanvin employees at its Paris headquarters teared up at the news and insisted further details be exposed as to why he would be gone. Online fashion journalism additionally stated that Elbaz had grown weary at the expedited pace of fashion in general and that the rat-like race of fast fashion had even found its way into the couture landscapes such as Lanvin.
But Elbaz had a great run! Just Google images of Rihanna, Julianne Moore, and even Kim Kardashian West wearing Elbaz. Lanvin’s ankle-strap pump was also an It shoe.
We’ll miss his work! To celebrate his legacy are ten great moments below from the Alber Elbaz era, followed by a video profile the New York Times did on him, and Wall Street Journal discussion about his dismissal.
Au revoir, Elbaz. The kids won’t soon forget you were here.
1. The October 2010 Runway Show for Spring/Summer 2011
You know that meme of the lil ol’ lady that’s mid-fall as if she’s just seen a ghost or is surprised AF? Well, that was me when I saw the image of these five sistas, including Ajak Deng, owning the runway for Lanvin during its 2011 runway show. An epic moment for women of color in fashion and of 2010s fashion period. #yasssbish
2. Lanvin for H&M in 2010
The frenzy was high and real when in mid-November the Lanvin for H&M collection launched worldwide in 2010. From Paris to New York, eager fans waited in line and left with big bags full of fluffy tea party dresses and bow detailed accessories. It was heavily romantic and floral with a color scheme of raspberry pinks and bright orange-reds.
3. Natalie Portman in Lanvin, February 2005
Natalie Portman arrived at the 77th Annual Academy Awards as a first-time nominee (for Closer) in a glittery grey Grecian princess-inspired gown by Lanvin. She was one of the best dressed that night.
4. Lanvin x Lancome collab in 2013
The cult of Alber Elbaz went from fashion to makeup in 2013 when Lancome announced that Lanvin and Elbaz had created limited edition packaging for the cosmetics label. Covering their classics like the Defincils mascara, the capsule collab quickly sold out across America. Lanvin-aholics had grabbed adorable fashionistas and a cartoon version of Alber on eyeshadow palettes and falsies too!
5. Beyonce in Lanvin, August 2011
When Beyonce arrived on the MTV VMAs carpet in 2011, she wore an orange flamed one shoulder draped gown, designed by Lanvin, to announce her surprise pregnancy! #nice #BlueIvy
6. Lorde in Lanvin, 2014
For the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, gothic goddess Lorde rocked an elaborately feathered Lanvin outfit from at the 2014 Autumn/Winter show. It was quirky and very Bjork. Elbaz is one of the few designers to respect and execute the oddity of “out there” fashion with a lot of fun!
7. Arlenis Sosa in Lanvin, 2009
Looking hot in Lanvin, Dominicana beauty Arlenis Sosa slayed her cover of VOGUE Germany in a cream and rose gold ensemble.
8. Tilda Swinton in Lanvin, 2008
There’s no greater moment for a fashion designer when either a First Lady or someone accepting a top honor is wearing their creation in the moment. Such a treat happened for Lanvin and Elbaz in 2008 when Tilda Swinton accepted her Best Supporting Actress (for Michael Clayton) trophy in a sleek, Victorian, one-sleeve, all-black gown.
9. Blake Lively in Lanvin, 2010
For her appearance at the Scream 2010 Awards on SpikeTV, Blake Lively wore one of Lanvin’s sexist designs that was a marriage between Grecian and Roman influences and Coachella hippie tendencies. Lively looked super cute and just like the model showed on the runway, the train flowed like calm water. Gorgeous!
10. Jennifer Lopez every time she wore Lanvin
J. Lo has actually worn Lanvin a lot more times than we’ve realized. And while her sex appeal is synonymous with houses like Versace, some of her most glam to the gods looks were courtesy of Elbaz.
From a black vinyl rock and roll dress for the premiere of her film The Back-Up Plan to a summery maxi in “I’m Into You”, Lopez never looked less than Hollywood whenever she wore Lanvin. Here she is in head to toe in the line in 2013.