Alber Elbaz Sheds A Few Tears, Melts Our Hearts

Warning: If you don't feel up for a fawning, adoring profile of Alber Elbaz, Lanvin creative director and dancer extraordinaire, you might want to move on. Because every time the Moroccan-born designer opens his mouth to talk fashion, the economy, his fellow designers, and his muse (spoiler: He doesn't have one), we fall more in love. The treatise on fashion, beauty, celebrity, and design that Elbaz lays forth in The Wall Street Journal is one that is so refreshing and endearing, it serves as a reminder that fashion is an art, and creative, lovely people can (and do) flock to its folds.
Certainly hop over and read the interview for yourself, but here are a couple of choice quotes that have just continued our total admiration for the well-spoken, passionate, and talented Lanvin designer. Can you tell we are fans? Don't worry...you will be, too. (Wall Street Journal)
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On shopping in the economy:
"What do you wear in a bad economy? This is a very, very sensitive issue. On one hand, you say that when things are going sour — when everything is not as easy and fun as it used to be — maybe there is some element that can bring fun and joy again. And it's chocolates, maybe it's love, and it's a beautiful red dress. If I were a buyer today in one of the American department stores, I would go with extremes — the most beautiful, the more expensive, the more eccentric. I would take risks. The worst thing would be to buy only the little black dress. You know why? Because everyone has it already. I would go with a purple dress, something different."
On succumbing to industry pressure:
"Once I was told that a girl who had done our campaign in the previous season was out, that she was no longer the right person to use. And I was a sucker, I said okay. A month later I saw her on the street walking with her sister, and when she saw me she started to cry. She said, 'Why didn't you take me, Alber?' And I felt so small and so stupid and such a victim of the system that I said, 'Never again.' That's what I mean when I say that I'm going back to intuition and to feeling and to what I believe."
On designer camaraderie:
"There was a time when designers hated other designers. But today there is actually major respect between many of us. We understand each other. We are all going through the same stressful process. Before shows we send each other little cards with congratulations; we send each other flowers. We're kind of a crazy family, but still a family. There are many designers I really respect and love. I love Azzedine (Alaïa). I like Narciso (Rodriguez) and Marc (Jacobs) and Nicolas (Ghesquiére) from Balenciaga. The first collection Raf Simons did for Dior was gorgeous. I'm not jealous of people — I'm only jealous of people who can eat and not gain weight. I respect talent. When I see talent and when I see a good person who comes with the talent, I melt."
alber-elbaz
Photo: Via Wall Street Journal
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