Hypochondria and Roast Chicken: The Quotable Alber Elbaz

Meryl's in on the joke.
Meryl’s in on the joke. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

There’s nothing we love more than to listen to Alber Elbaz weigh in on roast chicken, popcorn, and chocolate (he’s pro all three), his weird love of hospitals, or boy problems (he’s got ‘em). With the news that the designer is officially parting ways with Lanvin, the Cut took a look back at classic Elbaz motifs like being bad at dancing, feeling awkward at the beach, keeping up with the Kardashians and SATC, and not being able to work his damn tech devices (as Suzy Menkes once noted, he “doesn’t know one end of a laptop from another”). That might make him our most relatable designer to date. Read on for some of our favorite Elbaz riffs, by subject.

Being Bad at Regular Life Stuff:

“If you send me on vacation, I’m clueless, I can’t even climb from a dinghy to a yacht. Can you imagine me on the beach? Maybe if I was a skinny, handsome man my career would have been different. Maybe then I would have been more, like, ‘Hellooo, look at my dresses’.” —The Independent, 2012

“I feel that some celebrities think that because they are famous, they can do fashion. Imagine if I want to be now a dancer. Trust me, I can’t. I can’t jump. I can’t even limp from one point to another.” —Style.com, 2010

Boy Drama:

“When I got [to New York] I had just two suitcases and $800 because that’s all my mother could give me and no portfolio and I didn’t look so good so no one would sleep with me.” —Fashionista, 2012

“I remember a customer once said to me, ‘Alber, whenever I wear one of your dresses, men fall in love with me.’ And I said, ‘Next time you wear one of your Lanvin dresses, I want you to fall in love with a man.’ She said, ‘What’s the difference?’ So I said, ‘Active and passive.’”the Business of Fashion, 2014


“I am a true hypochondriac. I go to [the] hospital if I even have a pimple!” —the Business of Fashion, 2014

I was going to be a doctor because, I like aspirin, I like Tylenol.” Fashionista, 2012

“If you see my bag here, I have medication for everything.” —Harper’s Bazaar, 2014

“If I had a kid, I’d have to live in a penthouse of the hospital. Every time he sneeze I’d want him checked. I like everything about hospitals. Even the food.” —The New Yorker, 2009

“I did, in three hours, 387 selfies. With the ladies, and then with the ladies and their husbands, and the ladies and their girlfriends. It was amazing — and statistically speaking, out of 387 people, you know that at least five of us had the flu.” —at the Condé Nast Luxury conference, 2015


“I can only see a movie in a movie theater because I need the dark, I need the dream, I need the large popcorn. And I can never decide if I want it salty or sweet, so I ask for half-and-half. Shall I eat the salty first and then the sweet? Or first sweet and then the salty? Where it depends on my mood.” —At the FGI Night of Stars gala, 2015

“I don’t like to intellectualize. I’ve always said fashion is like roast chicken: You don’t have to think about it to know it’s delicious.” —Marie Claire, 2011

I always think if I were an editor and I was invited to a show and I would have to wait for 45 minutes in the dark or in the cold or in the heat, maybe I would like to have a fresh drink or a piece of chocolate. Maybe I would love to enjoy a sandwich.” WWD, 2012

“I created the peplum so you can eat in it. You can have a dessert, you can have another sandwich.” —Fashionista, 2012

“I’m too afraid to lose weight because then I might make heavy clothes. You are laughing, but I am not.” —The Wall Street Journal, 2012

Tech Drama:

“Computers do not have intuition. Computers are machines — machines with brains, but machines without hearts. Yesterday morning, just before coming here, I asked my computer, ‘What’s the weather in Florence?’ and the answer was ‘24 degrees.’ Then I asked, ‘Do you love me?’ and the answer was ‘How would I tell?’ Computers: brain, but no heart.” —at the Condé Nast Luxury conference, 2015

Guilty-Pleasure TV:

“I used to absolutely love ‘Wheel of Fortune’ when I was here in America. I used to run home at 7:30 and used to tell everybody that I had a class.” —WWD, 2008

“At 10 o’clock at night, all I want to do is come home and watch Kim Kardashian get a haircut — it’s like a vacation, you don’t have to think.” —The
Wall Street Journal
, 2012

“Sometimes I feel like Carrie from Sex and the City. I sit in front of my computer and ask myself, ‘Does the daytime have to be boring and gray?’” —Fashionologie, 2010

Alber Elbaz Muses on Hypochondria and Sandwiches