Alber Elbaz Talks Firing Drama and Working With ‘Bitches’ in Issue 2's Fall 2012 issue


The cover of's Fall 2012 issue.

You can always count on Alber Elbaz to tell it like it is, and the designer certainly doesn't bite his tongue in the second issue of, which, fittingly, features a cover shot of model Nadja Bender backstage at the Fall 2012 Lanvin show.

For the issue's "Fashion Behind Closed Doors" feature, Elbaz recounts his own experiences at Yves Saint Laurent and offers his two cents on the unrelenting hirings and firings that have rocked the fashion world since John Galliano's arrest last year.

“As I say to people, I was never just Alber from Saint Laurent, and I am not Alber from Lanvin," says Elbaz, who was dismissed from YSL in favor of Tom Ford

"I am Alber, period. That’s why I might have been hurt, but I was not dead. It didn’t kill me."

And if Stefano Pilati and Raf Simons can't take comfort in that, Elbaz's recent musical performance might also offer some words of support.

Que sera, sera and what will be, will be," he says, quoting the Doris Day tune he sang at his 10th anniversary celebration.

"I have never sang in my life and I will never sing again. That is the only reason I was singing. I wanted to dedicate this song to all of the designers in the world and their mothers, to their dreams. Then I wanted to dedicate it to all of the people in the audience, to all of the people who helped me realize my dream. So que sera, sera and what will be, will be … "

Of course, that laid-back attitude can only last so long. After letting the magazine trail him as he dashed from fittings to fêtes, the Moroccan-born designer confesses to experiencing feelings of frustration and self-doubt.

Alber Elbaz
Photo: Patrick McMullan
Alber Elbaz.

“I do not believe in myself," he admits. "I had this anxiety attack last night before the show, after the rehearsal. I almost fainted. I hated everything. I closed the door and I was miserable. I did not want to sing. All of a sudden everything seemed wrong, I did not know whether it was right to end this way. I was so unhappy about everything. Even when I look at it now from the perspective of 12 hours, I still don’t like it. If I did love it all, I wouldn’t go anywhere. The fact that I don’t like it, that I can only see the mistakes, how it could be better, that is the only reason I go to the studio the next day.”

But while being his harshest critic may be a useful motivation tool, catty personalities appear to have the opposite effect.

"I always say I cannot work with bitches; they block my creativity," Elbaz says. Can we get this on a T-shirt?

Elbaz isn't the only dishing dirt in the issue, which also features juicy interviews with Joseph Altuzarra, Marchesa's Georgina Chapman, an "unsatisfied" Giorgio Armani, and Karl Lagerfeld, who tells Carine Roitfeld about Jackie Kennedy's fake Chanel jacket, Coco Chanel's "demode" decline, and his label's "ecchh" period. Don't hold back now! 

For more, pick up Issue 2 on newsstands from April 2.