Five years after he left his post at Lanvin, designer Alber Elbaz has revealed a new startup named AZ Factory.

Described as a “digital luxury brand based on innovation, technology, and, above all, a place to experiment and try new ideas”, the company states it designs “beautiful solutions-driven fashion that works for everyone. It is a reset, it is the birth of a Factory.” Alongside this information, a visual identity was revealed via a minimalist logo with two eyes in the ‘O’ of ‘AZ Factory’ making a face.

Elsewhere, collaboration is key: “We are built around the core ideas of love, trust, and respect. We speak to our clients as we do with friends. Because we care.”

Unpicking what this all means, its perhaps best to rewind through Elbaz’ previous work. Creative director at Lanvin for fourteen years, under his guidance the house was a vision of luxury femininity that urged the brand’s storied heritage into an elegant, contemporary vision. Here, he drove an unabashedly feminine aesthetic – draped eveningwear, statement jewellery and sensual detailing – via established signatures that subverted traditional womenswear tropes – such as exposed zippers and frayed edges. Throughout, his Lanvin shows were always one of fashion week’s most anticipated and fun events.

Upon leaving Lanvin, Elbaz was openly distraught. In a talk at The New School’s Parsons School of Design he said, “Since I left Lanvin I have a huge scar. For the first couple of months, I walked around Paris and it was raining. I never knew if it was the rain or my tears… If I ever find an interesting job that will make me want to wake up again, I’ll teach every Friday and work one day in a hospital. There’s no formula. But I don’t want to think about Lanvin.”

With the launch of AZ Factory, the designer has clearly found this new meaning he needed. Having previously worked at the French house of Guy Laroche, as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent and then Lanvin, AZ Factory is the first time he will be working on a new story he can give shape to himself. “I am so happy and very much looking forward to an exciting launch in late January,” he says.

For more information, follow AZ Factory here.

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