After a 14-year partnership, the celebrated fashion designer Alber Elbaz is to quit Lanvin and this is sure to fire up rumors about who will succeed Raf Simons as Dior’s next artistic director. Stories like this already litter the Internet and more will surely follow.
The game of musical chairs, which could also be called the fashion industry’s transfer market, has well and truly begun. Less than a week after Raf Simons announced he was leaving Christian Dior, the charismatic Alber Elbaz has said goodbye to the no less legendary Lanvin fashion house.
It is difficult not to link the two resignations. While Raf Simons said he wanted to concentrate on his own projects, including his brand, Alber Elbaz has really surprised everyone in exiting Lanvin. Women’s Wear Daily reports that this breakup is linked to tension that has been building up between the artistic director and Lanvin’s owner, Shaw-Lan Wang. Elbaz is reportedly a shareholder at Lanvin so the situation remains fluid. Here is what our friends at L’Officiel Singapore have reported on this bit of news.
Nevertheless, there is a somewhat unfounded expectation that the Moroccan-born Israeli fashion designer could replace Raf Simons at Dior. His name was whispered behind the scenes last week when it was announced that Simons was stepping down. For the moment it is just speculation, but if Alber Elbaz were to go to Christian Dior there is no doubt that it would shake up the fashion world. So perhaps this is all just wishful thinking?
Alber Elbaz was hired at Lanvin to transform and modernize the luxury brand’s image. Now his name seems almost inseparable from it. The designer made a major contribution to the brand’s current success by creating a modern style that is elegant, glamorous, and always ultra-feminine, while respecting the fashion house’s DNA. Ribbons, diamante, sequins, pleats, and ethereal skirts and dresses were given a new lease of life with a few strokes of the charismatic designer’s pencil.
It’s therefore difficult to imagine him taking the reins at such an influential brand as Christian Dior, with its very strong identity that is constantly in the spotlight. Something that Alber Elbaz has often shied away from, as he has said on several occasions that he likes to work away from this commotion.
The seat left empty by Raf Simons brings all kinds of possibilities to mind. Riccardo Tisci and Phoebe Philo, the artistic directors at Givenchy and Céline respectively, are other big names rumored as possible replacements. It’s anyone’s guess until the next announcement.