Alber Elbaz Passes, Baptista Leaves Kenzo and more of the news you missed

Alber Elbaz Passes at 59
The week sadly started with the shocking news that designer Alber Elbaz had passed Saturday from COVID-19 in Paris. The revered designer who revitalized Lanvin and also worked for Guy Laroche and Yves Saint Laurent unveiled his own startup label, AZ Factory just this January. In a statement via Instagram Ralph Toledano, Président of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode said “Alber Elbaz had an immense talent. He put love and humanity at the center of his work. He had an absolute and driving desire for modernity. He felt things better than anyone else and took the time and distance to reinvent his fashion work between know-how and innovation. He was my brother by heart.” WWD reports he joins a mournful list of leading fashion figures who have died this past year of COVID-19, who include Kenzo Takada and Sergio Rossi.

The LVMH Prize Finalists Are Confirmed
This past Wednesday, LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers switched it up for 2021 choosing 9 finalists instead of the typical 8, after giving the public a vote as to who went to the final round through their first-ever digital showroom. Bianca Saunders, Charles De Vilmorin, Christopher John Rogers, Conner Ives, KidSuper, Kika Vargas, Lukhanyo Mdingi, Nensi Dojaka, and Rui by Rui Zhou are all headed to the final round and will show their collections to the Jury during the final event in September at the Louis Vuitton Foundation. Delphine Arnault, LVMH Prize founder and executive vice president of Louis Vuitton said “This class of nine finalists is a wonderful snapshot of today’s and tomorrow’s fashion. These young designers are all talented, of course, but also committed and realists. During this semi-final, each of them showed in their own way a very personal and accomplished creative universe, a wonderful wave of optimism in a changing world.” [Vogue]

CFDA Fashion Fund Finalists Confirmed
It’s official and everyone’s a winner: the 2021 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists are Batsheva, Anifa Mvuemba of Hanifa, Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta of Eckhaus Latta, Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka of House of Aama, Jameel Mohammed of Khiry, Kenneth Nicholson, LaQuan Smith, Edvin Thompson of Theophilio, Abrima Erwiah of Studio 189 and Willy Chavarria. All will receive a monetary prize and industry mentorship, a decision that comes “after an incredibly challenging time for all of us in fashion, especially here in New York,” said Anna Wintour. [Vogue]

Thom Browne is Back at NYFW
Thom Browne is heading back to New York Fashion Week this September. The exact location and details of the designer’s upcoming show are still unclear, but what is known is it will include both his men’s and womenswear collections. The decision to move back to NYC comes as an act of support for Browne’s partner, Andrew Bolton, the head curator of the Met’s Costume Institute. Set to run alongside NYFW, the Costume Institute will be holding “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” an exhibition in honor of the institute’s 75th anniversary. [WWD]

Valentino Launches Cosmetics Line
Valentino is now in the beauty biz. Set to be launched in late May, Valentino’s line of makeup is manufactured by L’Oreal and promises to be one of the most inclusive in luxury beauty. The foundation, priced at $64 USD, will come in a wide assortment of shades and the brand will be marketed to all ages, genders, and skin tones with an advertising campaign cast with ‘real’ people—no models will be getting this contract anytime in the foreseeable future. [CR Fashion Book]

Felipe Oliveira Baptista Leaves Kenzo
Felipe Oliveira Baptista is parting ways with Kenzo after two years as creative director for the LVMH-owned brand. Just months after founder Kenzō Takada’s passing and Baptista’s recent F/W 21 show, the Portuguese designer is set to leave the brand on June 30th. So far, there is no clear sign as to where the brand or Baptista will head next. This is now the second designer to leave a major luxury house in the past two weeks, with last week’s news of Kris Van Assche’s Berluti departure. [Vogue]

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