Text by Kee | Photos courtesy of AZ Factory
Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello
Ralph Lauren
Alexander McQueen
Giambattista Valli
Dries Van Noten
Thom Browne
Raf Simons
Wales Bonner
Alber Elbaz for AZ Factory
Rosie Assoulin
Tomo Koizumi
Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquière
Simone Rocha
Rick Owens
Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri
Jean Paul Gaultier
Comme des Garçons
Viktor & Rolf
Thebe Magugu
Maison Margiela
Stella McCartney
Fendi by Kim Jones
Iris Van Herpen
Giorgio Armani
Bottega Veneta
Guo Pei
Vivienne Westwood

Life is cruel at times. The best ones are often taken from us way too early. Alber Elbaz was one of the good ones and his passing earlier in April left a huge void in the fashion industry. His larger-than-life personality is irreplaceable and those who have had the chance to interact with the Israeli designer would readily agree about his kindness and generosity. After leaving Lanvin in 2015 – nearly 15 years into the job – fashion was already missing his hugs and laughter (and we still are). He was even musing on his personal Instagram account not too long ago about his wish to give out hugs at a moment’s notice. That was the kind of human being he was. Sure, he made his name bringing us the most elegant, feminine designs but it was that down-to-earth and caring approach that won him loyalists around the world. When he announced his return to fashion in 2019 by starting his own brand with the backing of Richemont, the industry was excited to see AZ Factory flourish with new ideas that he had amassed in the four years away from the scene. And in January of 2021, he presented the debut collection via a fun-filled digital short like many other fashion houses earlier in the year. AZ Factory wasn’t interested in a trend-based approach but a solutions-driven one which the industry is still sorely lacking of. The fashion industry didn’t have a chance to say a real goodbye to Elbaz until six months after his passing. AZ Factory dropped news before September’s Paris Fashion Week that a tribute show in his honour would close out this fashion calendar. Titled after one of his sayings Love Brings Love, the style of the show was inspired by his dream of replicating the spirit of the French Théâtre de la Mode, a post-war fashion movement in which designers created doll-sized mannequins of their creations so as to show their new designs around the world with ease. 45 of today’s top designers took part in creating one-of-a-kind pieces that memorialised his legacy, whether it was an interpretation of something iconic he had created or a nod to his love for bowties and pink. And if there were anything that this show and Elbaz taught us, it would be that love is always the answer.

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