On September 27 the Fashion Week starts in Paris. The closing show will be dedicated to the memory of designer Albert Elbaz. Creative directors of large fashion houses will create imitations of the designer's creativity. Nicolas Ghesquière, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Pierpaolo Piccioli, Demna Gvasalia and Rick Owens have already confirmed their participation.
The show, organized by the Elbaz AZ Factory fashion house team, will be called Love Brings Love and will showcase pieces created by very young designers as well as very famous ones.
"From haute couture to streetwear," is how AZ Factory CEO Laurent Malecaz described the pieces of the future show.
According to sources, among the famous designers and participating houses are Maria Grazia Chiuri, creative director of Dior; Nicolas Ghesquière, creative director of Louis Vuitton women's collections; Demna Gvasalia, creative director of Balenciaga, Rick Owens and Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative director of Valentino.
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Alber Elbaz
AZ Factory studios and ateliers also created a variety of looks for the show. Revealing the details of the event in an exclusive interview, Malecaz joined Alex Koo, Elbaz's life companion, in wanting to put on an exciting but ultimately uplifting spectacle.
"It's about the industry coming together to pay tribute to a great man, a great human being," he said. "Let's celebrate this beautiful moment, but also remind ourselves and the public what this industry is about - and how much we need beauty and creativity in this world."
Malecaz and Coo sent out emails to a wide range of designers from around the world, and many immediately responded with "yes."
"It was such an emotional response from all these designers, their sincere responses. - They were honored to be invited," Koo says. "Albert would be so proud and so happy because these were his friends and colleagues."
Albert Elbaz and Anna Wintur
"We were very touched and overwhelmed by this kind of feedback," Malecaz confirms.
The sketches that have begun arriving at AZ Factory offer a diverse approach to Elbaz's work, from using his favorite hues and styles to a more personal take on his design mission and his vibrant personality.
"It's amazing to see the interpretations," Malecaz said. "We think it's going to be very powerful, very beautiful."
Derek Blasberg, Riccardo Tisci, Kristina OÕNeill, Naomi Campbell and Alber Elbaz
Each designer or house produces one-of-a-kind outfits which, in the case of traditional brands, are a unique combination of the designer's handwriting and the brand he or she works for.
Malecaz noted that tribute dresses from other houses will not be for sale. Negotiations are underway with museums and foundations for exhibitions that will allow the public to get a closer look at the outfits. (The Oct. 5 show will be broadcast live.)
All designers have been invited to participate, as well as executives from major French luxury companies LVMH Moët Hennessy, Louis Vuitton and Kering.
"When you think of Albert, you think of his laugh, his jokes, his self-deprecating humor," Koo said. "I think that's what Albert would have wanted."
Certainly Elbaz envisioned the industry as one big "fashion family"-at times dysfunctional, but definitely interdependent, according to Koo, noting that Elbaz sent flowers and cakes to designers of all sizes and stripes as a sign of congratulations and support.
Alber Elbaz pose between Catherine Deneuve and Donna Karan
While fashion is full of unfathomable egos, Elbaz took it upon himself to befriend everyone from business titans and aspiring designers to the cleaning lady at Lanvin, who are all invited to the Oct. 5 event.
"Alber has really been a link between many of these designers," Koo noted. "A lot of designers don't necessarily know each other well, but through Albert they really reconnected and connected."
Malecaz said everyone at AZ Factory is fully focused on the creator's memorial event, and the next phase of business will be announced later this year.