Lanvin has already made an uberchic mark on the handbag industry, but now creative director Alber Elbaz has plans to place an even bigger focus on the category. WWD had a quick chat with him about what’s in store.
WWD: Are you becoming more involved in the design of Lanvin’s handbags?
Alber Elbaz: I’m involved in everything, but I have to sometimes be involved in everything more. I hate to refer to myself as a control freak, but I think that, somehow, when we work, no matter what we do — whether it is music or architecture or being a secretary — you have to be in the kitchen, you have to make it happen. I think that our industry is really moving into a handbag industry, somehow. I don’t know if it’s good or bad, but this is the situation.
WWD: How long has that been the case?
Elbaz: It’s one of those things that you just feel. You go to a department store and you see that the size of the handbag department is the size of America. About 10 years ago it was all about the “It” bag, then it went to fashion again, then it went to the importance of shoes, then back to the importance of the bag. Eleven years ago, it was about top models; it wasn’t about the clothes but about who was wearing what. So even fashion has fashions.
WWD: What can we expect from Lanvin’s new handbags?
Elbaz: I was thinking about what kind of bags women and men need, and it’s always a mix between reality and fantasy. On one hand, we’re always into finding solutions for people’s needs — they really need a big bag because they have to carry their life in it. The next second you say, “Maybe they need just a little clutch because all people have today is an iPhone.” Small and big, it’s all about extremes, contradictions. You have on one hand a backpack and on the other, a clutch.
WWD: What can you tell us about your spring ready-to-wear collection?
Elbaz: You know I can’t talk about that. I’m superstitious.