Alber Elbaz’s departure from Lanvin is proving to be anything but peaceful. Following claims by the fashion house's majority owner, Shaw-Lan Wang, and chief executive officer, Michéle Huiban, that his departure was a result of a lack of "creative designs,” Elbaz has responded. In a letter sent to all Lanvin employees on November 6 by Shaw and Huiban, they claimed that the quality of Elbaz's designs were to blame for his exit after 14 years, and that his "'aggression' towards management" and his "other grave and groundless accusations" against Wang were major contributing factors, per WWD.
Elbaz responded with his own letter this week, addressed to Huiban and Wang, in which he expressed his "shock" at their accusations, calling the claims “unjustifiable” and blaming weak management and the lack of a marketing strategy and investment for stagnating sales. Moreover, Elbaz threatened to give a tell-all interview and to seek a legal recourse if they did not cease to “defame his name.”
The situation is set to develop even further on November 17th, when a court hearing has been scheduled at the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris in an effort to establish constructive dialogue between management and the company's work council after relations broke down last month following Elbaz’s departure. You may recall reports that some of Lanvin's 330 employees are fighting Elbaz’s exile from the house, demanding, loudly in some cases, that the company bring back Elbaz, going as far as to start chants of "Alber, Alber, Alber," according to sources.
Elbaz has yet to indicate his future intentions, and his successor at Lanvin has not been named.