When Alber Elbaz , the much-adored ex-creative director of Lanvin, announced his latest venture AZ Factory in October 2019, the industry waited with bated breath to see what the designer had in-store for his highly-anticipated comeback tour. Relinquishing us of our curiosity, Elbaz has begun the new year by revealing he will be making his return to the Paris Couture Week runway – digitally, at least – releasing the brand's debut collection through a fashion film.
AZ Factory, which is the joint venture between Elbaz and Swiss luxury conglomerate Richemont, has been described as a "digital luxury brand based on innovation, technology, and, above all, a place to experiment and try new ideas." With this in mind, the decision to premiere the collection through the garment presentation genre du jour, is a natural fit. Although the pivot to digital has become a forced way of life for many luxury brands during the pandemic, Elbaz revealed to WWD in an interview that this had been his intention from the inception of the brand.
“This is how I wanted to show it, even before COVID-19,” he shared. “It’s a digital world.”
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AZ Factory marks Alber Elbaz's first return to the sartorial stage since he stepped down as creative director from Lanvin in 2015; where he spent an impressive 14 years at the French fashion house. Speaking to The New York Times following the announcement of his latest project, Elbaz placed an emphasis on his brand's positioning in a contemporary fashion industry.
"We are not going to do pre-collections, collections, post-collections," he said. "It's going to be about things I believe are relevant to make. We are just beginning now. And we are beginning really, really small. I like the idea of starting small today."
As for what we can expect from the collection, Elbaz has stayed true to his cryptic nature, sharing that like most things to come in 2021, "It's a surprise."
AZ Factory's debut show will be live on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m.