Updated: Nov 18, 2021
Photographs by Giovanni Giannoni
A grandiose Fuschia bow tie nestled around his collar, a wide grin stationed on his face, and thick-rimmed glasses perched atop his nose; Alber Elbaz bequests a breath of positivity and warmth into the fashion industry while leaving behind a remarkable legacy.
As Paris Fashion Week came to a close on October 5th, the final event presented a tribute titled “Love Brings Love” to Alber Elbaz, featuring 45 designers coming together with Elbaz-inspired pieces. Earlier this year in April, the Moroccan-born Israeli designer passed away from COVID-19 at age 59. He is best known for his refreshing transformation of the couture house Lanvin under his creative direction and for his new label AZ Factory, which launched under Richemont this January. During his time at Lanvin, Elbaz pushed for a “woman-first” approach by upholding the excellence demanded on the Parisian catwalks whilst allowing the pieces to be accessible to his clients. As Elbaz put it, “[fashion’s] essence is simple: to make the woman look beautiful, to make her fly.”
After leaving Lanvin in 2015 due to disputes with the brand’s owner, Elbaz began building his new label AZ Factory (inspired by the first and last letters of his name), which was later picked up by Richemont. This inclusive new venture rebelled against the fast pace and financial exclusivity of the fashion industry, introducing new technical fabrics for athleisure silhouettes also known as “anakoknit.” The line presented at Paris Fashion Week included sizes ranging from XS to XXXL and prices ranging from €230 to €1200. According to Elbaz, “I like the idea of fashion that can work for everyone.” Indeed, it was his remarkable vision and warmth in the fashion industry that prompted designers to create this tribute in his honor.
The tribute show “Love Brings Love” began with some pieces from Elbaz’s own label, AZ Factory, including a sleek black dress with billowy sleeves. Donatella Versace captured the energy Elbaz brought to the industry through a bright, hot pink mini dress with bold shoulders. Saint Laurent’s Anthony Vaccarello created a look inspired by Elbaz’s own personal style, marked by a black suit, white button-up, magnificently large, and a magnificently large bowtie. Jean-Paul Gautier incorporated the theme of ‘love’ with a fanciful red heart dress. Other contributing designers include Dior, Gucci, Vivienne Westwood, Iris Van Herpen, and more.
Although Alber Elbaz’s passing marks the end of an incredibly inspiring career, his legacy lives on. As the show ends in emotional eruptions of applause and red confetti hearts, the world says farewell to a pioneer of positivity and ingenuity in the fashion industry and looks to the future of AZ Factory.