Funeral services for Alber Elbaz have been scheduled for noon on Wednesday in Holon, Israel, where the designer grew up and where both of his parents are buried.
Details of the service were relayed by Ralph Toledano, president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode. He noted the family hopes to organize a memorial event in Paris for the fashion industry on June 12 on what would have been Elbaz’s 60th birthday.
According to Toledano, Elbaz was the youngest in the family, and is survived by two sisters and a brother.
An ebullient character prized for his couture-like craft and personal charm, Elbaz took a five-year hiatus after being ousted from Lanvin and earlier this year launched AZ Factory, a joint venture with Compagnie Financière Richemont hinged on solutions-driven fashions, entertainment and tech.
Born in Morocco in 1961 and raised and educated in Israel from age 10, the designer moved to New York in the mid-1980s. After a stint at a bridal firm, he landed at Geoffrey Beene, working as his senior assistant for seven years.
Elbaz came onto the international radar when he was recruited by Toledano to helm Guy Laroche in Paris in 1996, a stint that won raves, media attention and the job offer of a lifetime: to succeed couture legend Yves Saint Laurent at the helm of Rive Gauche ready-to-wear in 1998.
After three seasons, Elbaz was fired in the wake of Gucci Group’s takeover of YSL, with Tom Ford picking up the design reins. Elbaz subsequently did one season with Krizia in Milan before sitting on the sidelines of the business for one year.
He eventually landed at Lanvin in 2001 and catapulted it into fashion’s big leagues with his soigné cocktail dresses, artfully draped gowns, chunky costume jewelry and ballet flats. He was part of the vanguard in Paris that launched an enduring trend of couture-influenced French elegance — and gave the French capital new buzz.