Alber Elbaz, one of the most well-known and respected names in the fashion industry, has recently passed away at the age of 59 of COVID-19.
The news was shared by Johann Rupert, founder and chairman of Richemont, who said that he had "lost not only a colleague but a beloved friend."
Following Elbaz's death, Rupert couldn't help but pay tribute to the designer, who was known for his kindness, self-deprecating humor and for sending flowers to other designers right before their shows.
Fashion designer Alber Elbaz acknowledging the applause of the public after the Lanvin show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015 in Paris, France | Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
"He was a man of exceptional warmth and talent, and his singular vision, sense of beauty and empathy leave an indelible impression.”
FASHION OVER MEDICINE
Born in Casablanca, Morocco, and raised in Israel, Elbaz dreamed of becoming a doctor, but he eventually found his way into the fashion world as a way to help people.
It has been reported that the late 59-year-old studied at Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art in Tel Aviv before moving to New York, where he became the assistant of Geoffrey Beene.
Designer Alber Elbaz walking down the runway during the Lanvin Menswear Fall/Winter 2015-2016 show as part of Paris Fashion Week in Paris, France | Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Shortly after, in 1996, Elbaz was chosen by Yves Saint Laurent to take over the business but was fired and replaced by Tom Ford three years later after Gucci Group bought the brand.
Elbaz was thrilled to be back, doing what made him and others happy.
Following the crushing blow, and with the help of mogul Shaw-Lan Wang, Elbaz brought Lanvin back to life, a project that he worked on for 14 years before being fired once again.
LOST AND FOUND
The designer then spent five years roaming the world and collaborating with brands such as Tod's and Le Sportsac, wondering what he would do next.
Eventually, he decided to launch his brand, AZ Factory, with the help of Richemont, which would focus on making clothes for women at an accessible price no matter the size or season.
Designer Alber Elbaz on the catwalk during the Lanvin fashion show as part of Paris Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2008 in Paris, France | Photo: Karl Prouse/Catwalking/Getty Images
Although he was used to designing pieces for stars such as Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman, Pharrel Williams and Beyoncé, AZ allowed him to create simple pieces that would help women all over the world.
Elbaz was thrilled to be back, doing what made him and others happy and comfortable in their bodies, putting himself in women's shoes to find what they most desired and make it come true.