News of Alber Elbaz’s departure shook the fashion world yesterday but it seems Lanvin’s employees are the most devastated group of all. The 330-person staff is reportedly protesting the designer’s alleged firing, demanding meetings with majority owner Shaw-Lan Wang, chanting “Alber, Alber, Alber!” and threatening to take legal action at Paris’ commercial court.
Original reports claimed that Alber’s exit was a mutual decision but The New York Times‘ Vanessa Friedman revealed he was ousted by Wang, which better explains the employee reaction and pushback. Alber Elbaz served as creative director at Lanvin for 14 years, reviving the brand as one of Paris’ top fashion houses. Elbaz alluded to disagreements with the fashion house’s owners in a formal statement, writing, “I hope that [Lanvin] finds the business vision it needs to engage in the right way forward.”
His is the second high profile departure of late as Raf Simons stepped down at Dior last week. It’s unlikely that Elbaz, who is rumored to be a contender for Simons’ former position, will ever return to Lanvin.