It’s been five years since Moroccan-born Alber Elbaz left Lanvin, and the whole industry has been wondering what is next for one of fashion’s most affable designers. AZ Factory, a label funded by Richemont group, made its debut at Paris Couture Week on January 26 this year. “When things are not great, we need fashion,” said Elbaz minutes before his collection was unveiled. AZ Factory is a smart fashion solutions label. The timing of its debut, during Paris Couture Week made its message stand out. “AZ Factory is about one story, about time, it is not about collections but stories,” said Elbaz.

AZ Factory’s My Body collection features a series of body-hugging dresses

The thoroughly modern collection was presented in the form of a digital talk show called “The Show Fashion” and not on a catwalk. “I need to fall back in love with fashion,” said the designer. Starting with the Elbaz take on the iconic black dress, the idea was to make “that magical dress that makes every woman have that body she dreams she has.” His “My Body” dresses come complete with scuba-diver-inspired zip, allowing for closure without help. Made of AnatoKnit, an ethically sourced and technologically driven fabric, the dresses use ENKA viscose and Lycra and promises to hug you in all the right places.

If black is not for you, there’s My Body 2.0, a tightly curated selection of engineered color-block designed knitwear (with leggings seeming to be a hero product). With this range available in sizes starting at XXS and going up to 4L, inclusivity is a key issue for AZ Factory.

Switchwear includes clothes that can be transformed for various occasions

Footwear was all about “Pointy Sneakers.” AZ Factory is taking principles of athleisure but staying to true to the effortlessly chic aesthetic that Elbaz in known for – sneakers made of a breathable Neoprene and married with the elegance of a pump are an example of this.

AZ Factory also introduced “Switchwear,” a modular system of clothing that with simple adjustments can work for anything from a yoga class to a Zoom call. This “story” (Elbaz does not like the use of the word capsule) will be available in spring 2021, when he will also unveil details of a new membership program. Purpose and practicality are being given the same importance as aesthetics at AZ Factory, offering a new and progressive way of dressing. Elbaz, a member of FTA Prize 2020’s judging panel, has a clear message, and this new venture of his has a meaningful mission.