Alber Elbaz. Getty Images.
Alber Elbaz, the designer best known for his star turn leading couture house Lanvin, died in Paris on Saturday at the age of 59.
The news was confirmed by Swiss luxury group Richemont, with whom he launched a new label, AZ Factory, in January. The cause of death has not been communicated.
Born in Morocco and educated in Israel, Elbaz climbed the ranks of the fashion industry from a small dressmaker’s shop in New York City before moving to Paris, where he helmed the Guy Laroche and YSL Rive Gauche lines in the late 1990s.
As creative director of Lanvin for 14 years, Elbaz transformed France’s oldest couture house in continuous operation from an ailing artefact to one of fashion’s hottest names, with sales above €200 million. His glamorous, playful cocktail dresses were an influential force in fashion until he left the brand over disputes with its owner in 2015.
Elbaz, who was famous in the industry for his warm and approachable disposition, was instantly recognisable for his broad smile and distinctive personal uniform of bow ties and thick-rimmed glasses.
“Alber had a richly deserved reputation as one of the industry’s brightest and most beloved figures,” Richemont chairman Johann Rupert said.
Stay tuned for BoF updates to this developing story.
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