Business of Fashion has disclosed an update regarding Alber Elbaz’s departure from Lanvin. It is said in a statement that the reason for his stepping down from his position as Creative Director was due to the decision of the company’s majority shareholder. Despite the fact that Elbaz has been leading the company for 14 years, tensions arise between owner Shaw-Lan Wang and chief executive Michèle Huiban over disagreement in which the label was heading amidst declining profits over several consecutive quarters.
The complete statement, signed by the designer himself, reads:
“At this time of my departure from Lanvin on the decision of the company’s majority shareholder, I wish to express my gratitude and warm thoughts to all those who have worked with me passionately on the revival of Lanvin over the last 14 years; express my affection to all my wonderful colleagues in the Lanvin ateliers who accompanied me, and who enriched and supported my work. Together we have met the creative challenge presented by Lanvin and have restored its radiance and have returned it to its rightful position among France’s absolute luxury fashion houses.
I also wish to express my profound and deepest gratitude to all of the clients and friends, to the French and international press and to all those business partners who collaborated with Lanvin, providing us with support since 2001.
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.”
It has been widely reported that Elbaz has a stake of 10% or greater in Lanvin, and as he left the fashion house, he is sure to receive a significant amount of payout – echoing Nicholas Ghesquière’s departure from Balenciaga in 2012 and how he received $42.3 million for the sale of his 10% stake in the business. This exit by Elbaz from the French label also places him in a position to fill up the gap left out by Raf Simons at Dior. A possibility that if actually happen, will hopefully keep the current fashion era from an all time low.
However, the 330 pairs of hand at Lanvin are not to let go of the Israeli designer just yet. The company’s work council has demanded Shaw-Lan Wang to return to Paris from her home country Taiwan to listen to their concerns, answer questions, and reassure employees. All that together with a message for her: Bring Elbaz back. The employee body said it might also seek recourse with the Paris commercial court to mediate its opposition to the management decision.
Lanvin staffs were in shock when they met with the news of Elbaz’s dismissal, along with tears and chants of “Alber, Alber, Alber,” according to an anonymous employee who was joined for the midday radio broadcast at French radio station RTL by the work council representative Charles-Henry Paradis.
Now with Elbaz to indicate his next moves, his successor at Lanvin has yet to be named. The shortlist could include Olivier Rousteing, Simone Rocha, Huishan Zhang, and Joseph Alturazza, as well as Lucas Ossendrijver who was tapped by Elbaz in 2005 to rejuvenate Lanvin Homme.