The news that the fashion designer Alber Elbaz had died, aged 59, of Covid-19 hit the fashion industry like the proverbial tonne of bricks. A singularly brilliant design talent and man of unparalleled personal charm, to say Elbaz was ‘beloved’ by the industry is to drastically undersell his influence. And so it was fitting that—as the industry gathered together for the first time since the pandemic broke out—Elbaz’s life and work was celebrated with the highest honor the French fashion industry can bestow. AZ Factory, Elbaz’s newly-launched namesake label, was given the final slot of the Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2022 schedule, closing out a fashion month like no other in history with poignancy and optimism.
And what a fitting tribute it was. The crème de la crème of the modelling world—Anja Rubik, Mariacarla Boscono, Karen Elson, Adut Akech, Amber Valletta—modelled the 73 looks, a combination of pieces designed