LANVIN’s Alber Elbaz Says You Can’t Rush Genius

Jessica Hoppe

As we prepare to watch (i.e. judge) show after show during fashion week, do you ever wonder how much work actually goes into each presentation? As of late many designers have criticized the excessively consumer-driven demand for new, new, new and LANVIN creative director Alber Elbaz is the latest to speak up.

Alber recently sat with British Vogue to discuss what colleagues such asAzzedine Alaia, call the “inhumane” and relentless pace of the fashion industry.

“I don’t understand this marathon of fashion. Today, designers are expected to produce work that is bigger, better, faster and – these days – cheaper. A singer can quit once he or she has made ten great songs, a director can finish once he or she has made five amazing films, a writer just needs to write three great books. Now let’s look at designers – they produce six to eight shows a year, most designers have a 20-year-long career, so I need to create about 250 collections in that time. Not even Danielle Steel could write 250 books.”

But not every designer agrees. Yohji Yamamoto rebuked claims that there is an increasing amount of pressure put on today’s designers saying:

“It is not a rule you can apply to all designers. It depends on where you were born, how you were raised – it depends on who that person is. I do think the power of fashion has gone down though. Making money is so important now. It’s not about fashion as much as it is expensive handbags. Then there’s this cheap diluted fashion. What is important has changed.”

All artists struggle to remain relevant and simultaneously preserve their artistry—whether that be through an album, painting or line of clothing. However, each day we choose and display what we wear while other’s may not hear the music we listen to or see what we read. Does this fact cause added demand on designers?

And as we, the consumer, apply pressure for more do we unwittingly cause a production of “cheap diluted fashion,” as Yohji claims?

If so I will learn patience, I promise.