Celebrated Israeli fashion designer best known for his refreshing work at Saint Laurent and Lanvin, died of covid-19 at the age of 59. His death was confirmed by Johann Rupert, the owner of Swiss luxury brand Compagnie Financière Richemont, in a statement that read:
“It was with shock and enormous sadness that I heard of Alber’s sudden passing. Alber had a richly deserved reputation as one of the industry’s brightest and most beloved figures, I was always taken by his intelligence, sensitivity, generosity and unbridled creativity. He was a man of exceptional warmth and talent and his singular vision, sense of beauty and empathy leave an indelible impression.” Rupert further went on to add that he had not only lost a colleague but a beloved friend too.
“His inclusive vision of fashion made women feel beautiful and comfortable by blending traditional craftsmanship with technology – highly innovative projects which sought to redefine the industry.”, said Rupert.
Alber was born and raised in Israel from the age of one and was the product of Shenkar College of Engineering and Design. He moved to New York in the 1980s, before working as a creative director at Lanvin for 14 years. Elbaz worked at Yves Saint Laurent for three years. The designer had recently launched his own AZ Factory label to blend traditional craftsmanship with advanced and dynamic applications and technology, which is backed by luxury goods company Richemont.
“You made us dream, you made us think, and now you fly. Love, trust and respect, always. Alber, we love you forever”, the statement was put up on the homesite of AZ Factory.
Fashion designers and brands paid their respect to the designer on social media. Italian-French fashion model Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was among those who paid tribute by sharing a picture of Elbaz and her with the words: “How sad. Rest in peace.” Elbaz, “a talented, generous man, loved Paris so much and will be missed,” tweeted Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo paying her respects.
The event is a great loss to the fashion industry, as the industry mourns his demise. Quoting one of his sayings; a great and talented man with inclusive ideas of beauty and working tirelessly towards making it real “I am always trying to put myself inside: Every dress I do, I think, ‘If I were a woman, would I wear it?’”