Conventional fashion-world wisdom holds that Alber Elbaz — having just been dismissed from Lanvin, inconceivably, after a dazzling 14 years — is a contender for the recently vacated Dior spot. However, sources tell us there have not been talks between the two, although that could change as Elbaz was indeed short-listed for the top job in 2012, before it went to Raf Simons.
There is growing speculation that, as farfetched as it sounds, Elbaz may in fact land at Saint Laurent. That’s because its current creative director, Hedi Slimane, who’s been riding high at the house since starting three years ago, considers his total reboot nearly complete and may decide, of his own accord, not to renew his contract for another three-year term.
Imagine that: a designer leaving not because of any disagreement with company brass — in this case, Kering — or piling pressures, but simply because his mission is accomplished. If this scenario were to come true, it’s thought Slimane would happily continue with his photography in his adopted home of Los Angeles. Elbaz, meanwhile, would settle into Slimane’s dark-glam legacy and combine it with his own frothy cocktail vision with relative ease. It would also be a kind of redemption for Elbaz, who helmed YSL (before the Y was dropped by Slimane) for three seasons until 1999, when Gucci Group bought the label and let him go.
As for who’ll take the reins at Lanvin, names currently being bandied about include the maison’s own men’s designer, Lucas Ossendrijver, as well as Haider Ackermann, Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing (who seems perfectly happy where he is now), and Joseph Altuzarra.