Alber Elbaz (1961-2021)

The fashion designer died of Covid-19.

Alber Elbaz New York Times Interview (YouTube)

Israeli Fashion designer Alber Elbaz has passed away. He died at the age of 59 due to complications from the Coronavirus.

The son of a hairdresser and a painter, Alber Elbaz was born in Casablanca, Morocco, to a Sephardic Jewish family. He came to Israel with his family when he was just seven years old. Elbaz grew up in the town of Holon, just south of Tel Aviv. He studied at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Ramat Gan. In 1985, at the age of 24, Elbaz left Israel for New York City to pursue his career in fashion.

Elbaz went on to work for Guy Laroche and Yves Saint Laurent. He became the creative director for Lanvin in 2001. Alber Elbaz founded the Richemont-backed label AZ Factory in 2019.


Elbaz won the Fashion Group International award in 2015. In his acceptance speech, Elbaz explained how he went about his trade. “We designers, we started as couturiers, What do women want? What do women need? What can I do for a woman to make her life better and easier? How can I make a woman more beautiful?” he said. “We became creative directors, so we have to create, but mostly direct.”

“And now we have to become image-makers, creating a buzz, making sure that it looks good in the pictures. The screen has to scream, baby. That’s the rule. Loudness is the new cool, and not only in fashion, you know. I prefer whispering.”

His celebrity clients included movie stars like Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman, Beyoncé, Lupita Nyong’o, Pharrell Williams, Michelle Obama and Harry Styles. Many of them are now paying him tribute.

Kim Kardashian wrote, “Alber dressed me for my first Vogue cover and gifted me with the cover dress to hold on to that memory forever.”

Sarah Jessica Parker posted a photo of his designs with the comment, “He always left little notes inside parcels … [he was] loved and brought joy to every occasion.”

“Alber always thought of fashion as an embrace of life at its best,” said Anna Wintour, the global chief content officer for Condé Nast and editor of Vogue. “And when we wore his clothes, or were in his wonderful, joyful presence, we felt that, too.”

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