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Alber Elbaz Has Supporters If He Wants to Start His Own Label

Photo: Dominique Charriau/Getty Images

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Would Lanvin's former creative director and fashion darling Alber Elbaz go off the beaten path and start his own label? That's certainly the hope of many inside the industry, including some with more than enough money to make this a reality, Vanessa Friedman reports for The New York Times.

Elbaz and Lanvin had a messy split late last year. The house made it clear that this was not a mutual separation — Lanvin's majority shareholder Shaw-Lan Wang wanted Elbaz out — his former employees desperately wanted him back, and Elbaz took a subtle shot at the label's business practices shortly after being let go. "[I] hope that it finds the business vision it needs to engage in the right way forward," he said in a statement

All the more reason for Elbaz to start his own label, with its own forward-thinking business model. The idea was initially posited to Friedman by the president of the Fédération Française de la Couture, Ralph Toledano. "It was always his own vision," Toledano tells the Times. "At Lanvin, what he did was Alber Elbaz for Lanvin. At Guy Laroche, it was Alber Elbaz for Guy Laroche. Now he should just do Alber Elbaz."

Kim Hastreiter, an editor for Paper and a friend of Elbaz's, agrees. Marigay McKee, former Saks Fifth Avenue president, also believes that Elbaz should create his own label. McKee is engaged to someone who could make Elbaz's label a reality, the CEO of General Atlantic, who has invested in Tory Burch.

Renzo Rosso, who handles brands like Maison Margiela and Diesel, recently appeared in Business of Fashion echoing the statements of all the above. "When Elbaz said, ‘I don't have a company,' Renzo replied: ‘Make one!'" BoF writes.

But not only does Elbaz have supporters of his own label, there are many that believe that the designer and his romantic styles are a perfect fit for the still-vacant creative director job at Dior.