Lanvin has found its replacement for longtime creative director, Alber Elbaz. According to the Paris-based design house, Bouchra Jarrar, 45, has signed a contract to become the creative director for womenswear at the famed Paris-based house.
According to a statement from Lanvin chief executive officer Michèle Huiban: “Bouchra seemed a natural for our house, founded by a woman. I felt an immediate and very true connection when we met. Her timeless style is in keeping with the style and values of our company. Her talent, her high standards and her mastery of cuts and fabrics will bring a breath of freshness and modernity into the house, while respecting its soul as the oldest Paris couture house, a symbol of French elegance.”
In a phone call, Ms. Jarrar said, “I am honored to be part of the extraordinary history of the house, and all the great creators who came before me.”
According to Ms. Huiban, Ms. Jarrar plans to close her own brand to “devote herself to Lanvin. It was her choice. She decided she wanted a bigger playing field.”
Jarrar joined the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Appliqués de Duperré in Paris in 1991, after which she was appointed Studio Director at Balenciaga in 1996, where she remained until 2006, before going on to work with Christian Lacroix. Jarrar launched her own label during Paris haute couture week in July 2010, offering a unique vision of well-tailored, hand-crafted modern silhouettes, which were greeted with a great success and secured Jarrar a vital place on the Haute Couture schedule.
As for Elbaz, who was fired in October 2015, after a nearly 15-year tenor with Lanvin, he has been subject to a messy departure from the brand. WWD noted upon his ouster: “While the parties are likely to characterize the development as by mutual agreement, sources said the rupture came following disagreements between the charismatic Israeli designer and company principals: owner Shaw-Lan Wang and chief executive officer Michèle Huiban.” Elbaz has since responded, denying claims that he was let go due to a lack of creative quality, and threatening to file suit against the brand for alleged defamation.
WWD elaborated, noting that the battle will be uphill for Lanvin once Elbaz departs: "It is understood management has not yet selected a successor to Elbaz, and will face the task of finding a designer who can re-galvanize a house built around his vision and ebullient personality."