wsls logo

Israeli fashion designer Alber Elbaz dies at 59

FILE - In this file photo dated Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, Israeli fashion designer Alber Elbaz acknowledges applause at the end of his Spring-Summer 2016 ready-to-wear fashion collection for Lanvin, presented during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris. Elbaz, best known for being at the helm of Lanvin from 2001 to 2015, has died at the age of 59, luxury conglomerate Richemont said. Fashion French daily Womens Wear Daily said Elbaz died on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at a Paris hospital. In a statement released on Sunday, Richemonts chairman Johann Rupert said it was with shock and enormous sadness that I heard of Albers sudden passing. Alber had a richly deserved reputation as one of the industrys brightest and most beloved figures. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
FILE - In this file photo dated Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, Israeli fashion designer Alber Elbaz acknowledges applause at the end of his Spring-Summer 2016 ready-to-wear fashion collection for Lanvin, presented during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris. Elbaz, best known for being at the helm of Lanvin from 2001 to 2015, has died at the age of 59, luxury conglomerate Richemont said. Fashion French daily Womens Wear Daily said Elbaz died on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at a Paris hospital. In a statement released on Sunday, Richemonts chairman Johann Rupert said it was with shock and enormous sadness that I heard of Albers sudden passing. Alber had a richly deserved reputation as one of the industrys brightest and most beloved figures. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

PARIS – Israeli designer Alber Elbaz, best known for spending 14 years at the helm of France's Lanvin fashion house, has died at 59, the luxury conglomerate Richemont said Sunday.

A spokesperson for Richemont told CNN that Elbaz died Saturday from COVID-19. Women’s Wear Daily said he died at a Paris hospital.

In a statement, Richemont chairman Johann Rupert said “it was with shock and enormous sadness that I heard of Alber’s sudden passing. Alber had a richly deserved reputation as one of the industry’s brightest and most beloved figures.

"I was always taken by his intelligence, sensitivity, generosity and unbridled creativity. He was a man of exceptional warmth and talent, and his singular vision, sense of beauty and empathy leave an indelible impression," Rupert said.

The Richemont group paid tribute to Elbaz's “inclusive vision of fashion” that “made women feel beautiful and comfortable by blending traditional craftsmanship with technology.”

Elbaz started to work in collaboration with Richemont in 2019 with the aim of launching his own label, AZfashion.

Born in Morocco in 1961, Elbaz grew up in Israel before moving to New York in the 1980s.

He first became known to the public when he was named to lead the French house Guy Laroche in Paris in 1996. In 1998, he became creative director at Yves Saint Laurent. He was credited with reviving Lanvin during his long stint there from 2001 to 2015.

French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin paid tribute to Elbaz’ “intelligence, humour and great creativity that changed the fashion world.”

At the helm of Lanvin, the oldest French fashion house, he “wonderfully” met the challenge .

“For 14 years, the visionary genius of Alber Elbaz led Lanvin at the top of international fashion,” she stressed in a statement.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted her “great sadness” at the news, saying Elbaz was “a talented, generous man. He loved Paris so much and will be missed.”