Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz quits fashion house after 14 years
Departure fuels rumours Elbaz is looking at vacant Christian Dior seat
Alber Elbaz is to leave Lanvin after 14 years as its creative director, fuelling rumours he might take over the vacant seat at Christian Dior.
“Lanvin and Alber Elbaz have ended their collaboration after 14 years,” a company spokesman said of the 54-year-old Moroccan-born Israeli.
The departure comes less than a week after Raf Simons quit Christian Dior and will add to industry speculation that Elbaz might be seeking to fill his shoes at another of France’s biggest fashion names.
Elbaz succeeded Spanish designer Cristina Ortiz at Lanvin – France’s oldest fashion house still in operation – in 2001.
The same year, cosmetics giant L’Oreal sold the brand to a group of investors headed by Chinese businesswoman Wang Shaw-Lan.
It is believed Elbaz – praised for his draped styles for Lanvin and admired for his affable demeanour in the high-strung fashion world – held talks with Dior in 2011 when it was seeking a replacement for British designer John Galliano after he was sacked following an anti-Semitic outburst at a Paris cafe.
But Women's Wear Daily reported that those talks came to nothing because Elbaz had an ownership stake in Lanvin through a holding controlled by Wang, which proved to be a stumbling block to a deal.
The departures of Elbaz and Simons cap a turbulent year in the haute couture sector.
In October, Balenciaga named German wunderkind Demna Gvasalia as its new creative director to replace American designer Alexander Wang.