On Wednesday, the news that Alber Elbaz would be departing Lanvin after 14 years as its creative director hit the industry like a bombshell. As it turned out, the split was not Elbaz's decision. He wrote in a letter to the press that he had been pushed out by the company's majority shareholder, Shaw-Lan Wang.
Now, Lanvin employees are coming forward to protest Elbaz's dismissal. The French radio station RTL reported Thursday afternoon that the 330-person staff is asking Wang, who lives in Taiwan, to return to Paris to listen to its concerns and answer its questions. And the team is very clear about one thing: It wants Elbaz back.
Lanvin's reps did not immediately respond to request for comment.
While it makes total sense that Elbaz's staff would rally around him — it's difficult to name another designer who sparks nearly universal admiration and affection the way Elbaz does — it seems somewhat unlikely that he would return to Lanvin at this point. In a now-prescient speech last week at the FGI Night of the Stars, he reflected on the creative burnout felt by designers tasked with pushing out new collections at a rapid-fire pace. For Elbaz to return to the label he called home for over a decade, something's going to have to give.