Alber Elbaz is to leave Lanvin after 14 years as its creative director, the Paris -based fashion house said Wednesday, fuelling rumours he might take within the vacant seat.
“Lanvin and Alber Elbaz have ended their collaboration after 14 years,” a company spokesman told AFP, confirming a report in the industry publication WWD that the 54-year-old Moroccan-born Israeli was to leave. A later statement from Lanvin thanked Elbaz for the “chapter he wrote in a 125-year history”.
French and American media carried a letter in the stylist confirming he had left Lanvin due to “a selection made by its majority stockholder”, Chinese billionaire Shaw-Lan Wang.
His departure comes under a week after Christian Dior is depart by Raf Simons and will add to industry conjecture that Elbaz might be seeking to fill his shoes at another of France’s biggest trend names.
Elbaz succeeded Spanish designer Cristina Ortiz – France’s oldest fashion house in operation – in 2001.
L’Oreal cosmetics giant precisely the same year, sold the brand to a group of investors headed by Wang.
It is believed Elbaz – commended for Lanvin for his draped fashions and admired in the fashion world that was high-strung for his affable demeanour – held talks when it had been seeking a replacement for British designer John Galliano.
Elbaz was fired in 2011 following an anti Semitic outburst. But WWD reported because Elbaz had a stake in Lanvin through a holding commanded by Wang, which proved to be a stumbling block to a deal that those talks came to nothing. The departures of Simons and Elbaz cap a troubled 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.