After 14 years of helming Lanvin as the creative director, Israeli designer, Alber Elbaz steps down. Citing differences in vision between Lanvin’s owner and CEO, Elbaz’s departure was revealed earlier today to have been decided by the company’s major shareholder.
Elbaz has transformed Lanvin since his arrival, elevating the previously ailing French luxury label to an exciting, edgy and youthful global house. His characteristic designs saw Lanvin’s revenue grow to 250 million euros in 2014, though the boom is clearly slowing down in recent times. The designer also reportedly holds a 10 per cent stake in Lanvin, another possible financially-based reason for the designer’s long tenure with the label. Elbaz stepping down from Lanvin invites the question of “what next?” and whether Lanvin will potentially seek support from a major luxury empire to bolster its economic status.
Even though the exit came as a surprise, Elbaz will receive a signficant payout from Lanvin in accordance with his efforts for the brand. The figure may even come close to Nicholas Ghesquière’s $42.3 million payout after leaving Balenciaga. With Raf Simon’s stepping down from Dior last week, Elbaz may also have the potential to succeed Simons as Dior’s new creative director.
Aside from the speculative aspect, Elbaz’s departure was a bittersweet once. The designer released a letter gratefully thanking his colleagues and supporters. “I wish the house of Lanvin the future it deserves among the best French luxury brands, and hope that it finds the business vision it needs to engage in the right way forward,” he wrote in the statement.