Alber Elbaz celebrated his return to fashion by presenting AZ Factory, his digital start-up, during Paris Haute Couture Week.
Elbaz presented what he called a “digital entertainment version of luxury” and shared not only his fashion creations, but also the ethos behind the company’s “smart fashion which cares”.
Elbaz, head for creation at AZ Factory, stated that they are “on a journey to create beautiful, purposeful, solutions driven fashion that works well for everyone.” We are more than just a lifestyle. We are here to try new things and experiment.
Richemont is a partner in AZ Factory, a joint venture that focuses on the creation of intimate consumer moments.
Elbaz presented his debut collections using this concept in mind. It was less a fashion show and more entertainment, with a presenter and behind-the scenes production shots.
The video was 25 minutes long and explored why the Lanvin former director took so long to return to fashion. It also included Elbaz sharing his origins, mission for the future, and a look inside the factory. It was important to take time to think and to dream. I went back to the past and questioned the present and tried to envision the future.
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“So, I quit fashion but I didn’t leave the industry. After traveling all over the globe, my dream of visiting Silicon Valley made me want to go back. After this trip, I wondered if tradition and technology could co-exist. Is fashion still relevant in today’s world? You know the answer: Yes. It’s a big, bold yes. Fashion is essential when things aren’t going well.
AZ Factory unveils debut “stories” during Paris Haute Couture Week
Elbaz continues to explain the origins and the last letters of his first name. He also explains that the factory is a laboratory, but that it is not his comeback. AZ is about one story at a moment, not collections and certainly not capsules. The first product story is the reimaging of the little-black dress, which addresses inclusivity. Elbaz says it is an “anatomical gown that can contour all natural curves.” He uses AnatoKnit, which is a knitwear made of Enka Viscose (lycra) that shapes the silhouette and provides support.
The ‘MyBody” dress is available in a variety of silhouettes. It aims to “hold your in all the right spots” and improve posture with boning at the back. Elbaz explained that the signature AZ Factory zipper is inspired by the surf suit to make it easy to close.
This will be the first collection and it will come in inclusive sizing ranging from XXS through 4XL. Prices start at 210 Euros.
Switchwear, the second product story that will be released later in spring, was inspired by the desire to give time. The brand “goes from leisurewear to fabulous in less than one minute.” This playful and modular collection includes bodysuits, hoodies and glam Duchesse accessories made of recycled yarn.
High-end silk pyjamas are available that can be worn to sleep or dance the night away. The first designs have been made in collaboration with several artists and designers, added the brand and feature prints reflect the emotions of our times and our wish to spread messages of hope, love and togetherness.The third product story, ‘SuperTech-SuperChic’, takes hi-tech activewear to high-fashion transforming eco-dyed nylon microfibre fabrics traditionally used in activewear into seasonless fashion pieces inspired by couture.
AZ Factory also introduces ‘Pointy Sneaks’. These sneakers combine the comfort and visual appeal of a sneaker with the elongating effect of a pointed-toe pump. This sneaker is performance-like and designed to support the foot and provide better mobility. The sneakers are available for pre-order and will cost 455 Euros.
AZ Factory describes itself as a digital luxury home and has launched ‘Alber and Amigos. The brand’s consumer membership program offers express shipping to twenty different countries, NFC-enabled product interactions and experiences, as well access to the latest news and invitations for special events. There will be more surprises and perks soon.
Laurent Malecaze is chief executive of AZ Factory. He said: “We are really excited about creating a digital luxurious house that is based upon design, innovation and fun storytelling. We are only right that we also chose to launch our products on Net-a-Porter and Farfetch, two of the most renowned platforms in digital luxury.