Richemont announced the death of Alber Elbaz at the age of 59. In October 2019, the Swiss luxury goods company entered a joint venture with the designer which led to the creation of the brand AZ Factory. According to media reports, Elbaz died of Covid-19.

Elbaz is best known for having been the creative director of the French fashion house Lanvin from 2001 to 2015. After Lanvin, he worked on ad hoc projects with various companies, including the design of a sneaker for Converse. In 2019, the Tod’s brand hired the designer to work on its Tod’s Factory project, which involves the contribution of external designers on a rotating basis.

“It was with shock and enormous sadness that I heard of Alber’s sudden passing. Alber had a richly deserved reputation as one of the industry’s brightest and most beloved figures. I was always taken by his intelligence, sensitivity, generosity and unbridled creativity. He was a man of exceptional warmth and talent, and his singular vision, sense of beauty and empathy leave an indelible impression,” said Richemont’s chairman Johann Rupert in a statement.