Alber Elbaz x Lancôme

Lancôme is about to get us head over heels once again, this time collaborating with the genius Alber Elbaz for a make-up line!

Text: Maria Meintani

Save the date: On June 15th Lancôme is to launch a limited edition make-up line. And if these news lack surprise for you, you may be interested in hearing that Lanvin’s creative director is the face behind this. Oh yes, the ever surprising Alber Elbaz is making his baby steps into the magic world of cosmetics, collaborating with a much loved  colossal house; Lancôme, that is.

“Alber Elbaz is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most influential fashion designers. But beyond that, he is also the most talented,” said Youcef S. Nabi, Lancôme’s president.

AlberElbaz’s sketch drawn by the designer himself

“His sense of luxury, his vision of femininity and that hint of audacity resonate perfectly with the new values of the Maison Lancôme. We are extremely proud and happy that, with us, he is set to channel his universe into the world of make-up for the very first time”. The kind feelings seem to be mutual since Elbaz’s admiration for Lancôme is not something new. As the designer has stated, the whole thing started many years ago, when every time he happened to be in an airport’s duty-free, he spent quite some time before Lancôme’s stands, trying to make a decision about what to buy for his mother. A rather difficult decision, as he was not that wealthy at that time. «For me, Lancôme was more than just a brand. There was something very nostalgic about the name, about the whole story. Then about four years ago, I met Youcef».

And what motivated him to design make up products? As he has explained before, “I spend my time backstage at the Lanvin shows, and when I come out at the end, all I see are people’s eyes”. “It all stems from the curvaceous mascara bottles. The moment I saw them, I thought of women’s bodies”, he said talking about Lancôme’s best-selling mascaras—Hypnôse Drama, Hypnôse Doll Lashes, Hypnôse Star, and Définicils.

«I think that in this collection—and I’ll give the credit to Youcef, because it was his idea, Youcef wanted to go back to something that is totally happy and cheerful and colorful. I got into it, and the more I got into it, the more I enjoyed doing it. It’s not the reflection of the times, but it’s maybe the remedy of the times».

His collection has focused mainly on eye products and, having beautiful, naturally long lashes himself, he explains that «Eyes are the new fashion accessory», which led him to focus less on lipsticks and other products.«People are obsessed with eye makeup. It’s the most complicated, and it’s the one thing that really can transform you the most. For lipsticks, if you like pinks, you’ll always wear pinks, and if you like foundation, you’ll always wear the foundation you love. But the eye, if you work on your brows, the eyeliner, the mascara—you can truly transform yourself, in the good sense of the term. For me, there is a kind of superficiality in lipstick. I’m sorry to say that. It’s like having a fashion accessory that you will have and then put away. The eye is there to last. It’s also a symbol of authenticity. People say the mirror of the soul is the eyes. I think eyes are really deep». Quite a firm argument, don’t you think?

«Τhis project was a joy. I think that it was a great experience, and I hope women will love it, and I hope men will buy it for their girlfriends, and I hope that it will be a success. I never measure success by how much money something makes but by how many women will use it. I’m not a businessman». Monsieur Elbaz, we absolutely love your approach!

Until the oh-so-cute collection launches to Lancôme’s stands, take a look at this animated short film, in which Elbaz’s sketches put on a lovely show!