In the wake of Raf Simons sudden exit from Dior, comes another shakeup from within the industry: Alber Elbaz, the creative force which has led Lanvin for the past 14 years, is set to depart the French fashion house. A spokesperson for the label confirmed the rumours previously published by WWD earlier today.

Elbaz has been credited for turning around the once-struggling fashion house into a global, luxury label. The 54 year old designer is believed to be leaving his role as creative director following a series of disagreements between the fashion house’s Chief Executive Officer Michèle Huiban, its owner Shaw-Lan Wang and the designer himself - although Lanvin is likely to say his departure was a “mutual agreement,” reported WWD.

"Lanvin and Alber Elbaz have ended their collaboration after 14 years"

The iconic designer’s fellow design team were previously informed of his impending exit earlier this morning, and the rest of the Lanvin team was gathered together in a company-wide meeting held this afternoon to discuss his exit. Elbaz's sudden departure, which comes less than a week after Raf Simons announced his exit from Dior, has fuelled further rumours that Elbaz may be pegged as Simons successor.

Elbaz, who is known for his warm personality and couture craftsmanship is said to have previously held private talks with Dior for the role following John Galliano explosive exit in 2011, after his public anti-Semitic and racist outburst in Paris. However, discussions failed to progress at the time due to Elbaz’s stake in the French fashion house, held through a holding company controlled by Wang. It is reported that he holds a 10 percent or greater stake in Lanvin, which likely played a role in his 14 year tenure. It remains uncertain what will occur with his company stake following his departure.

Sources believe that Elbaz and Wang have been on thin ice as of late, as the Israeli designer had been pressuring Wang to sell her majority stake to make space for a new owner who would capitalise on the label’s potential to grow. He is said to have been worried by Wang’s reluctance to invest in the ongoing development of Lanvin’s retail network and brand profile, as other labels such as Saint Laurent, Givenchy and Chanel began to edge in on its territory.

Lanvin confirms Alber Elbaz exit

Although the fashion house has estimated revenues of 250 million euros in 2014, its growth has slowed under Wang hesitate hand, as she is said to refuse to sell the fashion house to anyone she is unfamiliar with or for less than her asking price. Sources indicate that Wang had indeed been asking for too high of a price and remain reluctant to sell, a move which likely frustrated Elbaz. Nevertheless, Elbaz is said to receive a hefty payout from Lanvin following his departure.

The charismatic designer debuted his first collection for Lanvin in 2002, a fall/winter collection which is said to have shown the best of both luxury and casual fashion. His designs have continued to be praised over the years, earning him the Council of Fashion Designers of America most influential designer award.

Although Elbaz has been outspoken on his views of the ever quicken pace of the fashion world and the growing pressures placed on creative directors to sell, his exit remains sudden.


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