As if he doesn't already have enough on his plate, Alber Elbaz, artistic director for Lanvin, has found the time to create the fashion house's new fragrance. We caught up with him for an exclusive chat to get the lowdown on what it's really like being at the helm of one of the most celebrated fashion houses in the world. As it turns out, it's not for the faint-hearted.
Alber Elbaz loves women. He has an innate sense of what women want to wear and has chanelled that talent, with flair, since arriving at Lanvin in 2001.
As he gets ready to launch the fashion house’s new fragrance, ME, we sat down with him to find out exactly what it takes to be in charge of a brand as huge as Lanvin. And guess what? It’s tough at the top.
‘Mine is a job that never ends, a function where it is almost impossible to set aside time to rest or take a breather. I live many lives at once,’ Elbaz told us.
‘I barely finish one pre-collection before I must start on another. Sales start, but I am already elsewhere creatively. The men’s show is being prepared, but we also need to think about accessories, perfumes and other items. In sum, I never stop.’
Although, Elbaz paints a hectic picture of what it takes to be a top designer, he also revealed that he’s as inspired and motivated by his work as the day he started out in the business.
‘I certainly can’t complain. I work six days a week, if not seven, and eighteen hours out of twenty-four – fortunately, with a great deal of pleasure. Why? Because I only do something if I want to do it; I need to feel a desire, to find pleasure in moving forward, creating, moving, inventing… I must maintain the magic of the dream. The day I cease to learn, I must stop.’
With such a packed schedule, we couldn’t help but wonder why Elbaz agreed to take on yet another project in creating the ME fragrance.
‘Because what I love – in fashion and everywhere else – is to tell a story through a creation,’ he says. ‘Before I start to do anything, I must feel that it is worthwhile and meaningful, that it tickles my intuition. I like to visit places and worlds I’m not familiar with.
‘I love to travel inside my head, take journeys toward the unknown, meet new people. Meeting the ME woman and all those who helped bring her to life was a beautiful experience.’
Lanvin ME is available exclusively at Harvey Nichols from Sunday 4 August.