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Alber Elbaz: 'My Lanvin dismissal is a tragedy'

Alber Elbaz: 'My Lanvin dismissal is a tragedy'

Alber Elbaz walked around Paris crying after his dismissal from Lanvin.

Lanvin’s former creative director, who is widely credited for resurrecting the French label, was let go from his role last October (15) after a 15-year tenure, triggering shockwaves in the fashion community.

In a rare talk held at The New School’s Parsons School of Design in New York on Tuesday night (03May16), Elbaz spoke to an audience of 800 design students and select members of the industry about his experiences and thoughts on the future of the business going forward.

He jokingly referred to his departure from Lanvin as "the tragedy" throughout the talk, eliciting laughter from the audience, and also revealed how much the decision has affected him.

Elbaz said that he is currently unable to sketch and, instead, writes down his ideas as they come to him.

"Since I left (Lanvin), I have a huge scar… For the first couple of months, it was pouring rain in Paris, and I was walking and walking and walking," he recalled, according to "I never knew when I touched my face it was the rain or my tears."

Born in Morocco and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel, Elbaz honed his craft for eight years under American designer Geoffrey Beene, before working at Yves Saint Laurent. He joined Lanvin in 2001, quickly gaining a reputation for timeless, feminine designs and modernist menswear.

Of the fashion industry, Elbaz admits that he would like to see more dialogue between the business and creative sides of fashion houses. He added that the current upheaval of designers and the see-now-buy-now debate rocking the industry is good because it means the industry is questioning itself after years of abiding by outdated traditions.

"Show now, wear now," he said. "When there is a wind of change, we have two possibilities: either we build a wall to protect us from the wind or we build a windmill to make the wind go faster so we can take advantage of this wind."

Looking to the future, Elbaz hasn’t ruled out a venture into the high street and high end markets, and claims he’s attracted to the concept.

"I want to touch both," he divulged. "I’d love to touch the world of the high street and next to it, I’d love to make clothes for women I love."

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