Alber Elbaz, a Moroccan-born Israeli fashion designer who rejuvenated Lanvin and had recently started a new venture, AZ Factory, died on Saturday in Paris. He was 59.
The cause was Covid-19, Richemont, the company backing Mr. Elbaz’s brand, said.
Beloved not only by his celebrity clients like Meryl Streep and Natalie Portman but also by his peers, Mr. Elbaz was that rare character in fashion: a truly empathetic and generous designer, both in the clothes he made and in the way he conducted himself within the business. The graceful lines of his dresses mimicked the graceful lines of his life.
launched AZ Factory after a five-year hiatus following his abrupt firing from Lanvin, where he was fashion director from 2001 to 2015. During his time there, he turned Lanvin, the oldest surviving but dusty French fashion house, into a more modern and prominent brand whose creations were worn by the likes of Beyoncé, Lupita Nyong’o, Pharrell Williams, Michelle Obama and Harry Styles.
Mr. Elbaz was known for his self-deprecating humor and his insecurities. He had a fraught, public relationship with his weight and said that being skinny was a fantasy that influenced his work. He transformed
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