link.png Alber Elbaz's departure raises question: what is fashion's future?← Back

 
Alber Elbaz has been dismissed by Lanvin, it emerged yesterday afternoon.
 
Hailing from Israel, the designer was hired by the French fashion house in 2001. Known for his feminine, elegant designs as well as being a caring, thoughtful person, Elbaz had become inextricably intertwined with the Lanvin brand image (he even featured in the film for the Autumn 2011 campaign). Following his appointment as Creative Director, he rapidly managed to turn the house’s reputation around, making it a favourite amongst the fashion crowd and celebrities just as much as the general public.
 
According to a statement from Elbaz, the designer is being made to leave because of differences between him and the house’s majority shareholder. The label is privately owned by Shaw-Lan Wang, with Michele Huiban holding the title of CEO. Meanwhile, Elbaz is said to own a 10% stake in the house. 
 

Employees of the fashion house were informed of the news yesterday. Thanking his colleagues in a statement, Elbaz commented: "Together we have met the creative challenge presented by Lanvin and have restored its radiance and have returned it to its rightful position among France's absolute luxury fashion houses."
 
In a speech at the Fashion Group’s International Night of the Stars, less than a week ago, Elbaz had addressed the changing role of the Creative Director: “And we designers, we started as couturiers, with dreams, with intuition, with feeling […]. Then we became ‘creative directors,’ so have to create, but mostly direct. And now we have to become image-makers, creating a buzz, making sure that it looks good in the pictures.” The speech gave an insight into what is going on beneath the veneered surface of the fashion industry.
 
The news that Elbaz has been fired comes less than a week after the announcement that Raf Simons has left Dior. Simons’ departure, as well as Alexander Wang’s from Balenciaga, had already fuelled discussions about large amounts of pressure that creative directors of the luxury fashion houses are being put under. Elbaz’s departure has only increased these concerns about what the future of the fashion industry holds.