Style
ALBER ELBAZ’S MAKING FASHION FUN AGAIN: AZ Factory's First Story
Text by Kee | Photos courtesy of AZ Factory
27.01.2021
Each piece from the 'MyBody' is designed with 'AnatoKnit' to smoothly hold the waist and backside
Each piece from the 'MyBody' is designed with 'AnatoKnit' to smoothly hold the waist and backside
'MyBody 2.0' is the sportier version of 'MyBody' and each outfit is paired with a matching legging
'MyBody 2.0' is the sportier version of 'MyBody' and each outfit is paired with a matching legging
'Pointy Sneaks' combines the comfort and function of a sneaker with the elongating benefits of a pointy-toe shoe
'Pointy Sneaks' combines the comfort and function of a sneaker with the elongating benefits of a pointy-toe shoe
'Cherries On Top' is the fun-filled accessories line that expresses Elbaz's humour
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Alber Elbaz has nothing to prove. When he left Lanvin after 14 years back in 2015, which already feels like a century ago, high fashion became a lot duller without the 59-year-old Casablanca-born designer. We missed his larger-than-life personality, his colourful drawings, his smile, his (virtual) hugs, and more so than ever, his optimism that fashion can turn a frown the right side up. Sure, with the possibilities afforded by social media, the fashion set didn’t lose touch with Elbaz’s wit and affections. In fact, this online correspondence kept his name in the frame, unlike certain designers who prefer a social media blackout the moment they leave their full-time employment. Then in October of 2019, he dropped news that the fashion set wanted to hear: he was launching his own fashion label together with the Richemont Group. And a little thanks to all the downtime brought about by the pandemic, Elbaz took this moment to reflect further and fine-tune what the fashion industry has been sorely lacking which is essentially clothing that fixes problems rather than create new ones. He wants AZ Factory (named after the first and last letters of his name) to be solutions-driven but not technical to the extent that clothes he plans to create become a soul-less armour. This solutions-driven approach couldn’t have come at a more testing time for mankind, with the pandemic hitting bottom lines hard and changing the way buyers look at their next buy. Again, Elbaz had to adapt – probably to an extent that we won’t know until a later date as to how much he has pivoted to make AZ Factory a success from the get-go. Even any idea of a live runway show to herald his long-awaited comeback story has been upended by the pandemic, and again, Elbaz has adapted to a digital format like the designers have done and made a clever, witty, and fun-filled presentation within his allotted 15 minutes. However, it is the clothes that he will be judged on rather than his rep. His debut for AZ Factory – which he prefers not to call it a comeback, collection or a capsule (he terms each one as a story) – is evident that Elbaz has been absorbing feedback these last five years and taking them to heart like a fashion’s version of Agony Aunt. What can you expect? The good news is, plenty of the good stuff – and we’re not kidding: a redevelopment of a bodycon dress that is performance-friendly, tapping on an extensive study on lycra; a new metal long zipper pull on dresses inspired by those on a diver's wet suit; pointy sneakers that help to elongate the body; the development of a new lab-made technical fabric for seasonless dresses that is quick to dry and breathable; new colour-blocking activewear that allows one to switch between yoga mat and biz video calls; and a collaboration with a few artists on fun sleepwear prints that look good in bed or even a night on the town. Most importantly, AZ Factory is size inclusive because Elbaz believes that women shouldn’t try to fit into the dress but the dress should fit the woman. And crazy enough, most of AZ Factory’s star pieces are now available on Net-A-Porter, FarFetch, and on its own online portal.  

www.azfactory.com

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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