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The industry mourns as fashion loses a legend.

Tributes from around the globe – fans, collaborators, and peers – all paid homage to Alber Elbaz, the designer who wanted inclusivity and to make women happy with style.

Counting the likes of Meryl Streep, Demi Moore and Nicole Kidman as fans, his untimely death in Paris at 59 from Covid-19 leaves a gap in the industry, usually filled with joy and inspiration, as his recently launched, size-inclusive label AZ Factory was just starting to bloom.

The much-lauded designer was born in Morocco and raised in Israel, and most known for his 14 years at the creative Lanvin – a label that never quite recovered from his departure. Elbaz had honed his skills at Geofrey Beane in New York and then at Guy Laroche in Paris before being chosen by Yves Saint Laurent as his successor for the Rive Gauche line; though after Gucci Group acquired the label, Elbaz was dismissed.

In 2001, he eventually took on his defining role at Lanvin, one of the oldest fashion labels in the world, transforming the company from a boutique men’s focused label to one focusing on women, hitting huge commercial and critical heights, on countless red carpets and a regular highlight of the Paris Fashion Weeks. Fans were charmed by Elbaz’s energy, his quick humour, and kind, cerebral approach to women’s fashion, which brought a vivacious, approachable spark to the often-haughty halls of French high fashion. A talent that shall truly be missed, Alber Elbaz is survived by his partner Alex Koo.

(Hero and featured image courtesy of AZ Factory)

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