Alber Elbaz Makes A Joyful Return To Fashion With Size-inclusive AZ Factory

by Aaron Royce

Alber Elbaz is back! The legendary (and always bespectacled) designer has returned with a colorful, versatile, and technology-infused new project, AZ Factory, which premiered during Haute Couture Week.

Many know Elbaz from his (famously short!) stint as creative director at Yves Saint Laurent and his more enduring tenure at Lanvin from 2001-2015, but AZ Factory presents a new side to the designer. In a 25-minute film that debuted on the brand’s new YouTube channel, Elbaz is the host of “The Show Fashion”—a morning show-style production, created with help from “producer” Amira Casar, that is all about the new venture. Segments range from a Pointy Sneaks fitness segment to Fashion News; fully displaying the versatility and modernity of the new collection.

Models in AZ Factory dresses (courtesy)

AZ Factory—which incorporate MyBody, MyBody 2.0, Switchwear, SuperTech-SuperChic, and Pointy Sneaks footwear—was a year in the making, and it’s sure been worth the wait. To display the importance of technology to the fledgling brand, Elbaz included footage showcasing the design process and integration of cutting-edge processes.

Viewers are given an inside look at the making of the collection, which utilizes materials like Anatoknit and microfiber nylons to create pieces that move fluidly with the body. Whether it’s showing the use of different amounts of lycra fabric for movement or the filaments that go into chosen threads, this faux ‘show’ isn’t just entertaining—it’s also educational and transparent.

The clothes themselves are signature of Elbaz; designed with a flair for the dramatic and keeping real women in mind. Accessorized with numerous pearls, metal, and crystal statement jewelry, models like Georgina Grenville, Amar Akway, Ashley Radjarame, Mao Xiaoxing, and Laura Malvarosa donned the line’s soon-to-be signature pointy-toed sneakers with yoga-style leggings and matching long-sleeved shirts, tops with dramatic sleeves, wide-lapeled blazers, and figure-hugging dresses. The palette was nothing short of joyful too, with technicolor yellow, blue, green, pink, and red mixed with classic black and white. These had their greatest moment in the spotlight during the show finale, featuring the cast dancing onstage with Elbaz as he proclaimed, “I love you!”

Switchwear styles from AZ Factory’s debut collection (courtesy)

For what’s essentially seen as a comeback project, Elbaz is notably aiming to be more inclusive. As such, the line’s size range runs from XXS to 4XL. This might seem a daunting task for a startup brand, but is important for its values of love, life, and consumer trust. Why? Well, as Elbaz says on the show: “There are so many women that are genetically small, and they don’t want to go to the children’s department to find the dress. And there are women that are XX, or XXX, or XXXXL, and they don’t find clothes, and we’re here for them.”

The fashion industry itself is also excited for Elbaz’s return, as evidenced by the powerful digital audience in attendance. Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, Pierpaolo Piccioli, Anna Dello Russo, Rick Owens, Maria Grazia Chiuri, and Suzy Menkes all watched from screens, declaring their congratulations once the show concluded.

If you’re instantly craving some of the show’s serotonin-inducing garments, you’re in luck. They’re already available on Farfetch, Net-A-Porter and AZ Factory’s own websites, with additional items available for pre-order. Elbaz has also promised more AZ Factory drops to come this spring—and frankly, we can’t wait to see what he does next.

See snippets of the collection below:

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