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Dec 3, 2020
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AZ Factory, Charles de Vilmorin and Sterling Ruby to show at Paris Haute Couture Week

Dec 3, 2020

It's confirmed: the new, much-anticipated brand from Alber Elbaz will make its debut in Paris next January. Born of a partnership between the famous designer, who led Lanvin for close to 15 years, and Swiss luxury conglomerate Richemont, AZ Factory will unveil its first-ever collection during the French capital's prestigious Haute Couture Week, scheduled to take place from Monday, 25 to Thursday, 28 January. 

Alber Elbaz - Francois Guillot. AFP

The committee of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture met on 19 November and selected the brand as an invited member. AZ Factory will therefore appear on the Haute Couture calendar alongside two more newcomers: French designer Charles Vilmorin, and American artist Sterling Ruby, both of whom have also been chosen as invited members. 

Furthermore, France's highest couture authority has again called on the following 12 fashion houses as invited members: Aelis, Aganovich, Azzaro, Christophe Josse, Georges Hobeika, Imane Ayissi, Julie De Libran, Rahul Mishra, Rvdk Ronald Van Der Kemp, Yuima Nakazato, Ulyana Sergeenko and Zuhair Murad.

Although no introductions are necessary for Elbaz, who will be making his big comeback to the Parisian catwalk with this invitation, the two other new brands are worth a closer look. 23-year-old Charles de Vilmorin, for example, crossed paths with Alber Elbaz during a work experience placement at Lanvin when he was still a high school student.

Having then gone on to study at the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, de Vilmorin made his debut in the middle of quarantine by launching his women's and menswear brand via Instagram at the end of April. And it looks like there's no stopping the young designer, who was among the emerging talents selected by Gucci to be present their work during the recent GucciFest. 

Born into a family of artists, de Vilmorin quickly gained attention for his exuberant and colourful designs drawing on a fantastical universe with a childlike, fairy-tale aesthetic channelling, but also for his genderless approach and the experimental techniques used in his embroideries and textures.
As for multidisciplinary artist Sterling Ruby, he has also been making noise in the fashion world. Known for his ceramics, sculptures and vibrant paintings, as well as for his subversive collages and videos, he made his first incursion into fashion ten years ago, when he collaborated regularly with Raf Simons, during the designer's time at Dior and then at Calvin Klein.

In June 2019, the American artist launched his own S.R. Studio LA. CA. brand with a debut runway that caused a stir at Florence's Pitti Uomo, before moving on to Paris' womenswear fashion week in September. In July, Ruby revealed a collection of unique, fully handmade pieces. 

The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM) has confirmed the dates of January 2021's fashion weeks and those of Haute Couture Week and menswear week, which is set to take place from Tuesday, 19 to Sunday, 24 January. The association has not, however, specified the format of these events, which risk being affected by the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. It's possible that, similarly to this September's fashion weeks, January's events will feature mixed programmes with both physical runways and digital presentations. 

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