Lanvin's dismissal of longtime creative director Alber Elbaz came as quite a seismic shock to the industry a couple of weeks ago and the fall out has not been pretty. Lanvin's employees are not happy about the whole situation and they have not been afraid to let everyone know about it, going as far to call for Shaw-Lan Wang, Lanvin's majority owner, to meet and clear the air. It doesn't seem like much has happened on that front, but according to WWD, Elbaz has taken action into his own hands and is speaking up for himself.
WWD reports that Elbaz wrote a letter to Wang and Lanvin CEO Michèle Huiban on Monday after the two placed much of the blame on slumping sales in an internal email that also said Elbaz's departure was "inevitable." Elbaz says in his letter this is "unjustifiable" and that weak management, investment and marketing were the primary causes for the drop in sales and not his designs.
What's really great here is the fact that Elbaz is clearly willing to take this further if need be. Basically, if Lanvin don't do right by his reputation and stop questioning his creative decisions, Elbaz is threatening to grant a lengthy interview to defend his work and reputation and possible seek a legal gag order against Wang and Huiban from speaking ill of him. Now that's an interview I would love to read. Nothing like a good ol' squabble between the creative engine of a brand and the people counting the money.