30 Alber Elbaz Quotes on True Beauty and Style

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Israeli fashion designer Alber Elbaz was born on June 12, 1961. His interest in fashion began at an early age, as he was already sketching dresses when he was only seven. In 1985, he left for New York City to pursue his dream of becoming a fashion designer.

In the US, he first worked as senior assistant to fashion designer Geoffrey Beene, which amounted to seven years of training in the industry. He moved to Paris to work for Guy Laroche and was then chosen as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent.

When Gucci acquired Yves Saint Laurent, Elbaz was fired and replaced. He next found his place with Lanvin and served for 14 years as its creative director. Lanvin’s renewed appeal to the fashion world was all thanks to his work, which he called “classic with a twist”.

alber elbaz runwayVia nytimes.com

His designs, characterized by their simplicity and elegance, helped Lanvin to become a top fashion house. After he parted ways with the company, he designed Natalie Portman’s costumes in A Tale of Love and Darkness and collaborated with other major brands.

alber elbaz natalie portman a tale of love and darknessVia timeout.com

Elbaz next partnered with luxury conglomerate Richemont to develop his own line, AZfashion, which was launched this year as AZ Factory. The fashion designer promoted his new line diligently before he succumbed to COVID-19 on April 24, 2021. He was 59.

He was not only known for his ingenuity in fashion, he was also admired for avoiding the limelight even with the widespread praise he earned. To celebrate his work, here are 30 Alber Elbaz quotes about the art of fashion design from the vogue icon himself.

Our job as designers is not just to create fashion shows, but to work around needs and then to bring the dream, and combine somehow function and fashion. – Alber Elbaz

I can’t just give a little. I can’t do things that way. It’s like, you can’t be a little bit pregnant. – Alber Elbaz

Wear flats. You’re short. It’s much cooler not to pretend. – Alber Elbaz

alber elbaz pretend quotes

The one thing that always scares me is to be like the Miss America of the moment, because next year there is a new Miss America. – Alber Elbaz

Fashion is like a fruit. You couldn’t eat it a day before and you couldn’t eat it a day after. It’s just about today. – Alber Elbaz

alber elbaz fashion quotes

I prefer spontaneity. At least that means you’re not sticking to some formula. – Alber Elbaz

Fashion says: ‘This is right, and this is wrong.’ I think that there is no wrong! I took a subject that is taboo, that you almost don’t want to talk about, but I said: Yes I will. We’re not here to transform women; we’re here to hug them. – Alber Elbaz

Style is the only thing you can’t buy. It’s not in a shopping bag, a label, or a price tag. It’s something reflected from our soul to the outside world—an emotion. – Alber Elbaz

alber elbaz style quotes

Fashion is not just thinking or not just dreaming, but is the mix of the two. – Alber Elbaz

I remember what Meryl Streep told me, that I always helped her to be a better version of her, and not to transform her. – Alber Elbaz

I’m not trying to transform anyone, I’m just trying to make everyone, as much as I can, a better version of themselves. – Alber Elbaz

alber elbaz transform quotes

I think that when you see too much of a dress, it’s not a good dress. And when you see too much of a designer, it means that it’s not too much of a good piece and they need to do too much publicity to push it forward. So I think it’s OK to move away, and to wear black sometimes, and it’s OK to disappear. It’s OK to make people miss you sometimes because then they are excited to see you when you say, ‘Honey, I’m home!’ – Alber Elbaz

When I was either 7 or 8 years old, I did a sketch every day of my teacher and what she wore. At the end of the year, I gave her the sketchbook. For me, the sketching of dresses was about fantasy and dreams. – Alber Elbaz

I prefer being relevant to being cool, because if you’re cool, you’re also cold the next day. – Alber Elbaz

alber elbaz relevant quotes

Why not touch things that we hate and turn them upside down and inside out? – Alber Elbaz

It’s a major job to help men and women look beautiful. – Alber Elbaz

Perfection scares me—because after perfection there is nothing left. – Alber Elbaz

alber elbaz perfection quotes

Fashion is not always about what’s new, it’s also about what’s good. And I think if you need to see what’s good, you have to be there. – Alber Elbaz

Fashion is not about buying a second skin. Fashion is about having a fantasy. – Alber Elbaz

I don’t want to see a dress with a woman. I just want to see a woman, with a beautiful dress. – Alber Elbaz

alber elbaz dress quotes

We are comfortable with formulas, but the best happens when the formula doesn’t work. – Alber Elbaz

It was not the story of design or clothes, it was the fantasy of women that made me want to work in fashion. – Alber Elbaz

Run away from laziness; work hard. Touch intuition and listen to the heart, not marketing directors. Dream. – Alber Elbaz

alber elbaz work quotes

Elegant is not what you wear, and it’s not about how you wear it, but it’s more about who you are. – Alber Elbaz

I like the dream, like fantasy dresses. Women can dream at nine in the morning and at 10 o’clock at night, it doesn’t matter. I think it is also important for me to make it pragmatic and practical and wearable. – Alber Elbaz

To be a fashion critic is easy because you just say, ‘I love it, I hate it,’ but life is more than love and hate. – Alber Elbaz

alber elbaz critic quotes

Sometimes we [designers] start a collection, we think we need to go for an inspiration trip, but sometimes I think that the best trips are the ones you do in your head. You don’t have to travel anywhere. You start there, in your mind. You start thinking, dreaming. That is what it’s all about. – Alber Elbaz

If it’s not edible, it’s not food. If it’s not wearable, it’s not fashion. – Alber Elbaz

alber elbaz wearable quotes

I wanted to inject some happy moments in the fashion world because we are the industry that creates dreams for men and women around the world, but I saw that many of you are not happy, too. – Alber Elbaz

Success is like a perfume, we can smell it but never drink it. – Alber Elbaz

Share these 30 Alber Elbaz to remember the late fashion icon and the beauty of his work.

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