We were still reeling from Friday’s announcement that Raf Simons would be leaving Dior when today’s news came: After 14 years, Alber Elbaz is exiting Lanvin. Given how close this news is to Simons’s (and Alexander Wang’s departure from Balenciaga, too), critics have been quick to warn of a “fashion burnout,” but, in contrast to the three-year tenures of Simons and Wang, Elbaz’s 14 years were steady, fruitful and constant. Elbaz was a designer with clearly defined signatures, his collections oscillating between the ultra-soft (ribbons, bows and statement necklaces) and powerful. Sure, Lanvin grew a little dusty in the last few years, but it’s hard to forget 2011, a time when each Lanvin closer defined the message of an entire season (kind of like how Vuitton, Dior and Wang do now).
His exit is being reported as a call made by Lanvin majority shareholder Shaw-Lan Wang, not the designer himself. So, much to our chagrin, we’re choosing not to look back in anger but focusing instead on the positive: his best moments at the creative helm.