Israeli Renowned French fashion designer Alber Elbaz dies from

Israeli Renowned French fashion designer Alber Elbaz dies from

Israeli Israeli … -French dies fashion Elbaz Renowned from Alber designer

Sun, 25 Apr 2021 05:00:00 -0700

The Moroccan-born designer who grew up in Israel had reached the pinnacle of luxury fashion design at Lanvin and Yves Saint Laurent, despite a few hard 

The Moroccan-born designer who grew up in Israel had reached the pinnacle of luxury fashion design at Lanvin and Yves Saint Laurent, despite a few hard knocks along the way

Renowned Israeli–French fashion designer Alber Elbaz died from COVID-19 on Saturday night in Paris, after being in an induced coma for several days. He was 59.

Elbaz was born in Morocco and moved to Israel with his family when he was 10 years old. When he was 15 his father died, and his mother started working as a cashier in order to support the family. She encouraged Elbaz, who started sketching dresses already as a child, to develop his talent. After his military service he studied design at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, and went on to become the school’s most famous graduate. In 1985, with his mother’s support, he left for New York in order to develop his fashion career.

For seven years Elbaz worked for designer Geoffrey Beene, who also served as his mentor. In 1997 he immigrated to Paris. Elbaz became the chief designer at the French fashion house Guy Laroche for four successful seasons, during which he attracted attention in the Paris fashion scene and made a name for himself.

The official stamp of approval came in the guise of a tempting offer Elbaz received from Pierre Berge, Yves Saint Laurent’s partner – to take over for Saint Laurent and to design the company’s prete-a-porter (ready-to-wear) line. After three seasons, in November 1999, the Gucci Group took over the Saint Laurent fashion house, and Tom Ford was appointed to replace him as the company’s artistic director.

Elbaz, who suffered a painful blow that left a mark on his career, worked for a short time in the Italian Krizia fashion house and waited for a good offer. “There’s no need to fight with everyone or to bear a grudge. What’s not good will fail on its own,” he said in an interview with Haaretz in 2009.

Such good offer came in 2001 from the French fashion house Lanvin. The Taiwanese publisher Shaw-Lan Wang, the controlling owner of the firm, whom the employees called “Madame Wang,” hired Elbaz's services as the artistic director, and asked him “to wake up the Sleeping Beauty.”

Madame Wang visited his studio only rarely, gave Elbaz a free hand, and allowed him to build the brand as he wished. Elbaz worked almost without interference, enjoyed Wang’s support and breathed new life into Lanvin, which until his arrival was a dormant and irrelevant brand.

Elbaz turned the French fashion house into an important and central player in the French and global fashion world. The elegant and sexy styles that flattered the female body quickly made him a favorite of fashion editors.

During the second season everything changed. Elbaz began to introduce the designs that became the firm’s trademark. Paul Deneve, the president of Nina Ricci, joined Lanvin as CEO in 2006 (previously Wang’s son had filled the position) and the two began to build the business. Elbaz worked hard. He gained a reputation as a meticulous and intense perfectionist, with whom it was exhausting to work. At the same time, his colleagues always mentioned his humanity and his warmth. He was known as someone who sent flowers on birthdays or for the birth of babies or after funerals.

After 14 seasons, Elbaz was fired from Lanvin in 2015. The dismissal was sharp, painful, surprising and almost incomprehensible, because Elbaz had often been touted as one of the most beloved and admired designers in the industry. The layoff stemmed from differences of opinion with Shaw-Lan Wang and CEO Michèle Hubain.

The dismissal led to various guesses regarding his next job. But not a single one worked out, and he decided to do smaller projects, such as a joint collection with the Italian brand Tod’s and a small capsule with LeSportsac, manufacturer of bags and luggage.

Last January Elbaz launched his new ready-to-wear brand AZ Factory, owned by the Swiss luxury corporation Richemont.

In an interview with New York Times' Vanessa Friedman Albez said of his new fashion endeavor: “It's like I’m giving birth. My hormones are burning. I’m so itchy. I cry and laugh within seconds.” 


Sun, 25 Apr 2021 05:00:00 -0700

Palestinians condemn 'growing incitement by far-right Israeli settler groups advocating for the killing of Arabs'


The Israeli police and Palestinians clashed outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls overnight into Sunday as tensions flared during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Hundreds of police officers in riot gear deployed around the Old City after nightly clashes spilled into the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank. Some Palestinians threw stones and bottles as police on horseback dispersed the crowds, though the violence appeared less intense than on previous nights.

The protests spread to several cities in the West Bank and along the Israel-Gaza border. The Israeli military said it dispersed hundreds of Palestinians, some throwing rocks and burning tyres.

There have been nightly disturbances since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on April 13, amid Palestinian anger over police blocking off access to the promenade around the walls of the Old City and a ban on gatherings.

A series of videos posted online have also shown young Arabs attacking ultraorthodox Jews, and Jewish hardliners taking to the streets to bully Arabs.

A march into the heart of Arab East Jerusalem by hundreds of supporters of far-right Jewish nationalist group Lehava added fuel to the fire.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion told public radio he was in talks with Palestinian community leaders in East Jerusalem “to end this pointless violence” and he had tried to cancel Thursday’s far-right march.

The office of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas condemned “the growing incitement by far-right Israeli settler groups advocating for the killing of Arabs”.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi condemned “racist attacks” by Israelis against Palestinians in East Jerusalem, and called for “international action to protect them”.

“Jerusalem is a red line and touching it, is playing with fire,” he warned.

– April 25, 2021