10 Shocking Facts You Didn't Know About Fashion Designer Alber Elbaz

10 Shocking Facts You Didn't Know About Fashion Designer Alber Elbaz

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The renowned Moroccan fashion designer and former creative director of Lanvin, who debuted designer label AZ Factory, passed away on 24 April 2021 in Paris. Here are some intriguing facts about the iconic Alber Elbaz fashion designer.

Early Move and Ambitions 

Born on 12 June 1961 in  Morocco, Albert Elbaz Fashion Designer was raised in Israel. He felt motivated to consider a career in fashion after attending fashion school at Tel Aviv's Shenkar College of Engineering, Art and Design. His mother handed him $800 and encouraged him to pursue his dreams in New York. Albert Elbaz omitted the ‘T’ at the end of his first when he first moved to the Big Apple at 24, hoping it would not be misspelled.

A Fantastic First Step in a Career 

Following a brief stint at a wedding business in New York, Elba arrived at fashion designer Geoffrey Beene’s studio. He traveled to Paris in 1996 and became the Chief of the French fashion label's prêt-à-porter innovative designs, a position he held for seven years. In 1998, he was appointed by co-founder Pierre Bergé to be the Creative Director of Yves Saint Laurent, and his ready-to-wear creations became acclaimed among French legends.

A Blessing in Disguise 

Following Gucci Group's acquisition of Yves Saint Laurent in 1999, Elbaz was abruptly sacked after three seasons. This was when Tom Ford chose to take over the creative side of the business. Elbaz was in the middle of creating the forthcoming ready-to-wear range. Elbaz then spent a season in Milan with Krizia before taking a year off and contemplating retirement from the fashion industry.

Proud of Himself and Others

After visiting a doctor to address his weight issues, Alber Elbaz fashion designer altered all of his collection's materials to stretch. He also altered the tones in his series to beige in 2014, as a tribute to how much his weight affected his design. According to him, the doctors asked questions like, if ladies can purchase a new body via cosmetic surgery nowadays, why do they buy a dress?  

Isn't it true that the body is the new dress? What exactly do you do as a designer? Should the body be exposed or concealed behind the fabric? Elbaz subsequently revealed that he left the discussion believing he was destined to be a fashion surgeon, like a cosmetic surgeon.

Lanvin Restructuring

Elbaz was recruited by Lanvin in 2001, immediately after the company was purchased by a group of investors led by Chinese billionaire Shaw-Lan Wang. The historic company regained its lost elegance under Alber Elbaz fashion designer. He pioneered exquisite, feminine designs and heart-racing catwalk displays. Lanvin was somewhat immediately re-established as a top Paris fashion business, and Elbaz re-established himself as one of the industry's most recognized personalities.

A Sparkly Affair

Elbaz was known for draping textiles straight on a person during his 14 years with Lanvin. He became a sensation across the globe for his cheap-chic assortment for H&M in 2010. He was also a part of many celebrity red carpet moments. In 2012, Meryl Streep wore a draped, gold gown made by Elbaz to receive an Oscar for her performance in The Iron Lady.

Food for Thought

In almost every interview, the amiable designer includes food puns in his responses. “I'm not craving anything like that,” he responded when questioned by Dr. Sanjay Gupta if he craves stepping out from the fashion business. "If you ask me what I truly want, I want a sandwich!” quipped Elbaz. 

Inspirations from Life

Alber Elbaz was known for both his collections and his own style preferences. He also wore a dinner jacket and bow tie; in fact he was rarely seen without them. As a result, the bow tie had become a staple of Lanvin's menswear collection, symbolizing a lighthearted and whimsical approach to design and the designer.

Kindness at its Peak

Elbaz was renowned for his very self-aware jokes and vulnerabilities. However, he is still regarded as one of the industry's kindest individuals. The fashion designer was a traditionalist who presented flowers to other designers before their presentations and favored handwritten letters to text messages and emails.

A Proud and Successful Entrepreneur

With the help of the Swiss luxury firm Richemontin, Elbaz created AZ Factory in the beginning of 2021. It aspires to develop and manufacture clothing that caters to women's problems, regardless of the season or weight, at a more accessible price.


Alber Elbaz fashion designer was among the most well-known figures in contemporary fashion. His large round glasses and love for bow ties made him instantly identifiable. He also won many admirers because of his pleasant demeanor, which set him apart in an otherwise cut-throat and competitive industry.


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