Fashion designer Alber Elbaz, best known for breathing new life into the French design house Lanvin, died on Saturday at the age of 59.
His cause of death was COVID-19, the New York Times reported, citing Richemont, the company backing Elbaz’s new AZ Factory fashion brand.
The Moroccan-born Israeli designer, who died in Paris, left Lanvin in 2015 after 14 years at the top, and was was credited with reviving the brand during his stint there.
Shortly after his ouster, Elbaz described his newfound feelings without Lanvin as scarred but “free.”
“Since I left I can’t sketch . . . I still have a huge scar on me,” he revealed in 2015. “For the first couple of months, I was walking in Paris . . . and I never knew when I touched my face if it was the rain or my tears.”
In early 2021, Elbaz started AZ Factory — which is described online as “smart fashion that cares.”
Members of the fashion community and Elbaz’s legions of Hollywood fans mourned the designer’s death, including fellow designer Stella McCartney, who wrote a touching tribute on Instagram.
“He was a light like no other in the world,” she wrote. “In fashion, his immense talent shone so bright that it tore up the conventions and wrapped a million souls in happiness when they wore his creations. I will miss you sir very, very much. We all will.”
Katie Holmes remembered her and daughter Suri Cruise’s special bond with Elbaz, writing, “He was so very kind to my daughter and me. And full of joy. He made people feel so special. I am so grateful to have had the experiences I did have with him. May he Rest In Peace. 🙏❤️ alber elbaz.”
“Very sad to hear that Alber Elbaz is gone,” “Sex and the City” star Kristin Davis tweeted. “He was not only incredibly talented , he was a kind person, in a not always kind industry.”
Other stars including Kim Kardashian, Rihanna and Natalie Portman have all famously worn Elbaz’s designs.
Before joining Lanvin, Elbaz worked for Guy Laroche and was creative director of Yves Saint Laurent.
With Post wires
By Julie Gordon