Alber Elbaz, the adorable designer of Lanvin who’s marking his 10th year at the house, would rather fly under the radar. “I never think people should do things for me,” he told the New York Times. “I think I should do things for others. That makes me more comfortable.”
To illustrate, an anecdote: during Elbaz’s interview with the Times last week, a woman approached the designer at his table, congratulated him on his success, said that, like him, she was born in Morocco, and then blessed him in Hebrew. Later, he found out that she had paid his bill and left. “But I must thank her!” he told the waiter.
Since the woman is a regular at the restaurant, he pulled out a black marker and piece of paper, sketched a caricature of her—complete with pearl necklace and her Chanel bag—and himself, with glasses and oversize bow tie, in his signature cartoonish style. He left the sketch with the waiter, in hopes that it would make its way to the woman the next time she visited the restaurant.
So next time you see Alber Elbaz eating at a restaurant, buy his dinner—and maybe you, too, will receive a personalized sketch in thanks.