Known as the nicest man in fashion, Alber Elbaz was always generous with his thoughts and insights on the world. Candid to a fault, the late designer consistently attracted friends and fans with his warm and funny musings on life. Whether talking about fashion, dieting or his love of women, Elbaz - who died on Saturday 24 April, aged just 59 - will be remembered for his immeasurable talent, but also his humour and compassionate take on being alive. Here, we round up his most memorable quotes.
1.On the power of dresses:
"I didn’t see the romantic side of the dresses; I saw the easiness, the simplicity. I saw waking up in the morning and having your kids, and your husband and your mother on the phone, and your work calling you, that was before the SMS, like 10 years ago, now they do that as well. Women need something a little bit more easy in their wardrobe, instead of thinking every morning what goes with what, they just zip it in and at night zip it out.” - WWD, 2012
2. On the value of being kind:
"To be good is important, I don't like bitches." - British Vogue, 2013
3. On how he wanted women to feel in his designs:
“I remember a customer once said to me, ‘Alber, whenever I wear one of your dresses, men fall in love with me.’ And I said, ‘Next time you wear one of your Lanvin dresses, I want you to fall in love with a man.’ She said, ‘What's the difference?’ So I said, ‘Active and passive.’ I love the idea of love. In fact that is the DNA of the house, which was, after all, founded on the love of a mother for her daughter. So I started to work on this concept.” - Business of Fashion, 2014
4. On style:
“Style is the only thing you can’t buy. It’s not in a shopping bag, a label, or a price tag. It’s something reflected from our soul to the outside world—an emotion.” - US Vogue
5. On the greatness of women:
"Women are very multifaceted. They want to be sexy, to be the mother, to be the lover, and to be the business woman. Women are much more pragmatic than men, because they can do many things all at the same minute and want to be the best at them." - Alain Elkann Interviews, 2020
6. On the the futility of perfectionism:
"Perfectionism is dangerous because there is nothing after it, just a museum." - British Vogue, 2013
7. On what beauty looks like:
“I feel more and more that the most beautiful people are the ones who are comfortable with themselves. You can be a young fashionista in all the latest trends but if you’re not comfortable with yourself, it shows. Or you can be a bit bigger, a bit older, a bit shorter, but if you feel comfortable in life and life is smiling at you then you become beautiful.” - Independent, 2015
8. On humility:
"As my mother told me: be big and small. I asked her what she meant by this; whether she was saying I should be skinny and not skinny. ‘No,’ she replied. ‘Be big at your work, at what you do, but be humble and simple in your everyday life.’ I grew up with very little and I think this is the best heritage, because you have values.” British Vogue, 2013
9. On why fashion matters:
"Is fashion important? Is it important to talk about luxury? Does it really matter if you’re going to wear a red dress or not? Finally, I thought, Because of that woman, it is important. You make people dream. You make people think. You have to give them stories. You have to introduce fantasy. Fashion is how we bring them into the world today. That is my job." - Interview, 2009
10. On purpose:
"The two words that are most important to me is purpose and hope. I want to design clothes that have a purpose. I want them to be solution-driven to solve problems women are dealing with and make fashion that works for everyone. My biggest dream is to be able to make a dress that hugs you." - Tatler Asia, 2021
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