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Fashion designer Alber Elbaz dies

Fashion designer Alber Elbaz dies
/ Cover Media

Alber Elbaz has died at the age of 59.

The beloved fashion designer, who was known for rejuvenating Lanvin during his tenure as creative director from 2001 until 2015, passed away in Paris on Saturday. He had reportedly been battling Covid-19.

Richemont chairman Johann Rupert, whom Elbaz had partnered with on his new AZ Factory venture, confirmed the sad news on Sunday.

"It was with shock and enormous sadness that I heard of Alber's sudden passing. Alber had a richly deserved reputation as one of the industry's brightest and most beloved figures," he began. "I was always taken by his intelligence, sensitivity, generosity, and unbridled creativity. He was a man of exceptional warmth and talent, and his singular vision, sense of beauty, and empathy leave an indelible impression."

Rupert went on to note that it had been a "privilege" to watch Elbaz develop the AZ Factory project, and described his friend as one of the great fashion innovators.

"Alber will be greatly missed by all of us who had the good fortune to know him or work with him. On behalf of all of my colleagues at Richemont and AZ Factory, I wish to extend our sincerest condolences to his family and friends. On a personal note, I would like to add that I have lost not only a colleague but a beloved friend. Rest in peace Alber," he added.

Born in Morocco, Elbaz and his family immigrated to Israel when he was aged 10.

Upon deciding to pursue a career in fashion, the designer moved to New York City in 1985, where he trained under Geoffrey Beene.

Elbaz later worked for Guy Laroche and Yves Saint Laurent, but it was his stint as head designer at Paris-based house Lanvin that saw him win international acclaim. He went on to outfit celebrities such as Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, and Kerry Washington for the red carpet, though was dramatically let go from the house in October 2015 after disagreements with the company's major shareholder, Shaw-Lan Wang.

After several years working on various collaborations, Elbaz announced in 2019 that he would be gearing up to launch his own label, AZ Factory, which was to focus on creating streamlined basics and technical knits.

The designer is survived by his longtime partner, Alex Koo.


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