According to Ralph Lauren, Alber Elbaz was larger than life.
“But in a humble way. Every time we met, I was touched by his warmth and special joie de vivre,” Lauren said. “He always said he’d rather whisper than be loud and his designs reflected that quiet beauty. He brought true integrity to his craft and his way of life.
Lauren is one of 44 designers who have agreed to create looks in homage to the late designer for AZ Factory’s “Love Brings Love” tribute show on October 5 which will close Paris Fashion Week.
The American designer imagined a version of his iconic bear sweater that resembles Elbaz’s signature look.
“It’s a reflection of his personal style, his appreciation for craftsmanship and his subtle sense of humor,” Lauren said.
Elbaz’s new fashion house, AZ Factory, has shared the full list of participating designers, from emerging talents to those leading Europe’s most famous heritage brands: Besides Lauren, the others are Pieter Mulier of Alaïa, Sarah Burton by Alexander McQueen, Demna Gvasalia by Balenciaga, Olivier Rousteing by Balmain, Daniel Lee by Bottega Veneta, Riccardo Tisci by Burberry, Charaf Tajer by Casablanca, Gabriela Hearst by Chloé, Maria Grazia Chiuri by Dior, Christopher John Rogers, Rei Kawakubo by Comme des Garçons, Dries Van Noten, Kim Jones by Fendi, Giambattista Valli, Giorgio Armani, Matthew Williams by Givenchy, Alessandro Michele by Gucci, Guo Pei, Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski by Hermès, Iris Van Herpen in collaboration with Adobe, Jean Paul Gaultier, Bruno Sialelli from Lanvin, Jonathan Anderson from Loewe, Nicolas Ghesquière from Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh from Off-White, Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Rosie Assoulin, Chitose Abe from Sacai, Anthony Vaccarello from Saint L aurent, Daniel Roseberry from Schiaparelli, Simone Rocha, Stella McCartney, Thebe Magugu, Thom Browne, Tomo Koizumi, Pierpaolo Piccioli from Valentino, Donatella Versace from Versace, Guram Gvasalia from Vetements, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren from Viktor & Rolf, Vivienne Westwood and Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood, Grace Wales Bonner and Glenn Martens of Y/Project.
Prominent names missing from the list include Chanel, Prada, Marc Jacobs and Celine, whose creative director Hedi Slimane previously worked alongside Elbaz at Yves Saint Laurent.
Each designer was given carte blanche to create a bespoke look inspired by Elbaz’s heritage or a special version of an iconic silhouette.
The AZ Factory studio and workshop also produce several looks for display.
Owens told WWD he was “absolutely thrilled to send a message of unity and community and wished we had done it while he was here.
“I’ve always enjoyed Alber’s soft, light hand with deliciously colored washed gazars, so I offered one of my explosive shapes performed in his delicate pink washed silk gazar,” he said. declared.
Rocha has also bet on a feminine fabric.
“I have always admired Alber, his work and his spirit, his generosity and his beauty, so I was honored to be asked to be part of his tribute. I wanted to use a fabric that we both love, the silk taffeta, and I wanted to translate giant bows into her signature fuchsia pink,” she said.
“As much as anything else, Alber was a friend, and so this was an opportunity to show my affection as well as my respect,” Chiuri said. “I chose to focus on the creative and inventive joy of his creations. I thought it would be interesting to create an outfit that combined Dior’s historic silhouette with his legendary sketches. Symbols, numbers and words such as ‘love’ and ‘happy’ are transformed into a story of a unique creative mind that has contributed so much to the world of fashion. »
Before his death, Elbaz surprised with a live fashion show during Paris Fashion Week inspired by the Théâtre de la Mode, a traveling exhibition of miniature fashions designed by the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne after the Second World War to revive an industry ravaged by wartime shortages. and the German occupation.
“Fascinated by this uplifting story, Alber had long dreamed of uniting his large fashion family for a new modern iteration of his own,” AZ Factory said in a brief statement. “This year, with the help of everyone who loved him, AZ Factory will bring Alber’s biggest dream to life.”
The Parisian event – with the presence of many participating designers – will be broadcast live on AZFactory.com, YouTube and Instagram.
“This is about the industry coming together to pay tribute to a great man, a great human being,” Alex Koo, Elbaz’s life partner, told WWD recently ahead of the event. “Let’s celebrate this beautiful moment, but let’s remind ourselves and the public what this industry stands for – and how much beauty and creativity we need in this world.”
The track outing promises to have the electricity of the shows Elbaz orchestrated during his acclaimed 14 years at Lanvin. AZ Factory recruited long-time collaborators from Elbaz, including Etienne Russo of production house Villa Eugénie; makeup artist Pat McGrath; the hairdresser Guido Palau; stylist and editor Babeth Djian, and musician Ariel Wizman for the soundtrack.
Elbaz launched AZ Factory – a venture with Compagnie Financière Richemont – last January by airing an offbeat fashion variety show that featured cutting-edge “smart” fabrics and the designer’s inimitable polished touch. It also introduced a digital-centric business model focused on projects rather than collections, and with storytelling, problem-solving and entertainment integrated into design, distribution and communications.
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