Fashion designer Alber Elbaz has died at 59

Naomi Gordon
·2-min read
Photo credit: Samir Hussein - Getty Images
Photo credit: Samir Hussein - Getty Images

Israeli fashion designer Alber Elbaz has died aged 59.

Elbaz was best known for his revival of Lanvin while serving as creative director of the French fashion house from 2001 until 2015. He also served stints at other fashion houses including Geoffrey Beene, Guy Laroche and Yves Saint Laurent.

In 2019, Elbaz announced that he was launching his own label, AZfashion, a partnership with luxury conglomerate Richemont, which also owns brands such as Azzedine Alaïa, Cartier and Chloé. Richemont founder and chairman Johann Rupert confirmed the news of Elbaz's death, and paid tribute to the talented visionary in a statement.

"I have lost not only a colleague but a beloved friend," Rupert said. "Alber had a richly deserved reputation as one of the industry’s brightest and most beloved figures. 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.

Photo credit: Getty
Photo credit: Getty

He continued: "It was a great privilege watching Alber in his last endeavor as he worked to realize his dream of ‘smart fashion that cares.’ His inclusive vision of fashion made women feel beautiful and comfortable by blending traditional craftsmanship with technology – highly innovative projects which sought to redefine the industry,” he added.

"I am very happy to partner with Richemont and to establish my 'dream factory', which will focus on developing solutions for women of our times," Elbaz had said at the time. "I am extremely excited to collaborate with good people, talented and smart individuals and look forward to also having a lot of fun with this new adventure."

Photo credit: Samir Hussein - Getty Images
Photo credit: Samir Hussein - Getty Images

Elbaz was born in Morocco and raised and educated in Israel, before moving to New York in the 1980s. He gained international recognition after he was recruited by Ralph Toledano to helm Guy Laroche in Paris in 1996, before succeeding Yves Saint Laurent as the head of Rive Gauche ready-to-wear.

Elbaz is said to have passed away at a hospital in Paris on Saturday (April 24th).

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