HONG KONG — Could Alber Elbaz — master of the hand-draped, no-seam cocktail dress — be considering a dalliance with fast fashion?
According to sources, Lanvin’s former creative director has held discussions with Japan’s Fast Retailing Ltd., parent of the Uniqlo brand. It is understood talks have centered on some form of collaboration. The likelihood of a deal could not immediately be learned. A Fast Retailing spokesman declined to comment. Elbaz also declined to comment.
In recent years, Uniqlo has done collaborations with designers Christophe Lemaire and Jil Sander, and French fashion personalities Ines de la Fressange and Carine Roitfeld.
Elbaz, ousted from Lanvin last October after a stellar 14-year tenure, has done a string of speaking engagements, but has yet to indicate his future career intentions.
It is understood he is still embroiled in a legal battle with Lanvin over his ownership stake in the French company, held indirectly via an entity controlled by Lanvin majority owner Shaw-Lan Wang.
Once source said the parties — which have already sparred in court — have agreed to an arbitration procedure to determine the value of Elbaz’s stake.
While Elbaz never elaborated on his departure, sources said the rupture came following disagreements between the charismatic Israeli designer and company principles: Wang and chief executive officer Michèle Huiban.
Elbaz has since been replaced at Lanvin by Bouchra Jarrar, who is to present her first collection on the runway at the end of September. Her pre-spring collection was only showed to retailers.