Another day, another exit letter in the fashion industry.
A precise week after Raf Simon’s abrupt departure from the house of Dior comes the news that after 14 years, celebrated designer and creative director Alber Elbaz has decided to leave Lanvin.
Business of Fashion (BoF) published the Israeli designer’s exit letter in full, where Alber hints that his resignation has to do with a falling out with Lanvin owner Shaw-Lang Wang and CEO Michèle Hubain.
“At this time of my departure from Lanvin on the decision of the company’s majority shareholder, I wish to express my gratitude and warm thoughts to all those who have worked with me passionately on the revival of Lanvin over the last 14 years; express my affection to all my wonderful colleagues in the Lanvin ateliers who accompanied me, and who enriched and supported my work. Together we have met the creative challenge presented by Lanvin and have restored its radiance and have returned it to its rightful position among France’s absolute luxury fashion houses.
“I also wish to express my profound and deepest gratitude to all of the clients and friends, to the French and international press and to all those business partners who collaborated with Lanvin, providing us with support since 2001.
“I wish the house of Lanvin the future it deserves among the best French luxury brands, and hope that it finds the business vision it needs to engage in the right way forward.”
According to BoF, Alber’s owns a stake of 10 percent or greater at Lanvin, which has “no doubt played a role in keeping the designer at the house for 14 years.” Whether he will be asked to sell his stake as part of his exit package (in the same way that Nicholas Ghesquière received $42.3 million for the sale of his 10 percent stake in Balenciaga) or be allowed to keep it is still unknown.
WWD reports that Lanvin is “poised to post its first loss in a decade,” which fuels speculation that the designer may have been forced out of his post in the once-languishing French luxury house.
Alber’s decision leaves the door wide open for several new opportunities, including the coveted post at Dior, though the change of pace at the conglomerate-owned couture house will be relentless, especially in comparison to the privately owned Lanvin.
During his speech last week after winning the Superstar award at the Fashion Group International’s Night of the Stars, he spoke of the pressures that creative talents face in the ever-rapid and competitive fashion industry, echoing the sentiments that Raf Simons expressed to journalist Cathy Horyn.
“We designers started as couturiers with dreams, with intuitions and with feelings. We started with, ‘What do women want? What do women need? What can I do for women to make their lives better and easier? How can I make a woman more beautiful?’ That is what we used to do.
“Then we became creative directors, so we have to create, but mostly direct. And now we have to become image-makers, making sure it looks good in the pictures. The screen has to scream baby — that’s the rule. And loudness is the new thing. Loudness is the new cool, and not only in fashion. I prefer whispering. I think it goes deeper and lasts longer.”[Business of Fashion]
Photo courtesy of Global Fashion News