alber elbaz gets fomo from instagram, too

And everything else we learned from the Lanvin designer’s talk at The Met last night.

by Alice Newell-Hanson
10 June 2015, 5:15pm

Alber Elbaz and Alina Cho. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art/

Sitting behind a bouquet of hot pink roses at The Metropolitan Museum last night, designer Alber Elbaz joked that the arrangement was much more flattering than the flower situation at Barbara Walters (who apparently likes all foliage behind her guests). Elbaz, the creative director of Lanvin since 2001, told his interviewer, his friend and former CNN correspondent Alina Cho, that he would prefer to remain partially obscured: "in order to see the dresses I design, I have to disappear - that's why I wear black." But he also joked that his preference for wearing all black everything means that he sometimes looks like Hugh Hefner. Here's what else we learned about Elbaz last night:

He lived the American Dream
The designer arrived in New York in the mid 80s with just $400 (a gift from his moms) and two suitcases, "a small one for my belongings and a big one for my dreams."

He does not give up
His first job in the city was "making bad mother-of-the-bride dresses in the garment district." Obviously this was not ideal, so he phone stalked Geoffrey Beene for three years and was eventually offered a job there in 1990.

He applied for Tom Ford's future job at Gucci
Pre-Beene, Elbaz interviewed for the lead design job at Gucci. He didn't get it, but Tom Ford did, and he's happy about that.

He's a momma's boy
Elbaz has a self-professed "weakness for moms." During his time at Geoffrey Beene, he would call his mom every morning in the cab to the studio.

He takes movie trips with his team
To hammer home his belief in the Dream, Elbaz took half of his team at Lanvin to watch Whiplash, which he loved. "It's about talent, passion and hard work - that is what America is all about!"

He watches KUWTK
Eager to clear up any ideas that he might sit down "with Tolstoy" after work, Elbaz said loud and proud that he likes to eat pizza and watch Keeping up with the Kardashians after a long, hard day. Celebrities, they're just like us!

Instagram gives him FOMO
"It makes me feel so down," says Elbaz. While other people are posting pictures of their dinner in which "even the mozzarella looks sexy," he is "home eating old tomatoes and making sure everyone else has a glamorous life."

He invented resort and sort of regrets it
Elbaz started presenting a collection in between the fall and spring seasons years ago - as a way to talk with clients and customers. Then, it became a fully-fledged season and now he says, "I am paying for it." Its in-between nature, he says, is "like being a little bit pregnant."

He sends flowers to other designers
"About six or seven years ago I began sending flowers to a handful of designers I love," says Elbaz. While he likes competition, and says it pushes him, he says he's not a jealous person: "The only thing that makes me jealous is people who eat and do not put on weight."

He <3s Caitlyn Jenner
In answer to the question du jour, Elbaz replied, "as a dressmaker, it's not important what I think. But if there's one thing I'm happy about, it's that she made her dream come true. As one dreamer to another: all the best!"


Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Photography courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art/

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