Lanvin has been under the microscopic watch of the web since the announcement of its line for H & M. The French label has always produced (in my opinion) the most elegant, flattering and timeless designs for women today. Nudged into the spotlight, soft-spoken Alber Elbaz, Lanvin’s Artistic Director, has become the internet face of the label. As he garnered more and more attention, I grew fascinated with the modest man donning giant glasses and enormous bowties.Click photo to watch the Vogue interview.
The Moroccan-born and Israel-raised Elbaz moved to New York City in 1987 and subsequently cut his teeth at Geoffrey Beane, followed by a stunted stint at Yves Saint-Laurent before finally finding his home at Lanvin. Since then, Time Magazine named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) bestowed an International Award and France named him a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur.
In the interviews above with Suzy Menkes, Elbaz reveals everything from his inability to lose weight to how he begins the design process for each new season. Not only are they a fascinating glimpse into the world of high fashion, but they also reveal the portrait of man filled with talent, modesty and insight — the last quality of most importance in a designer.
Best Elbaz quotes:
“I wish you may be big and small…be big in your work, but be small and simple and modest in your life.” -Elbaz’s life philosophy and advice from his late mother
“Wear flats. You’re short. It’s much cooler not to pretend.” -Advice to Natalie Portman
“When I talk to women around the world, rich and poor and young and old and intellectual and not, what they want to be is skinny. You ask them, what is your dream? It’s to be skinny. That’s all they want … Me, as a designer that is not exactly skinny, all I want is comfortable clothes. All I want is beautiful. I mean, I like gray hair, I love wrinkles.” -from an interview with The Cut
“The one thing that scares me is to be like the Miss America of the moment, because next year there is always a new Miss America.” – from an H & M advertisement
“We [Lanvin] actually cater to quite a small group of people that can afford us. I know so many women (and men) around that never tried Lanvin on – for them we did it…So this was another step of trying a cater a need, a desire, a thought. And why not? Because we all know what happened to Marie Antoinette after staying in that palace for too long!” – on the H & M collaboration
Watch the Lanvin + H & M Teaser. The line is slated for release November 20.