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1 Feb

EXCLUSIVE: AZ Factory Taps Colville Duo for Next Show

Molly Molloy and Lucinda Chambers, the design duo behind the colourful and eclectic Colville label, are the following guest designers at AZ Factory, WWD has learned.

They’re to unveil their collection on the runway on March 6 during Paris Fashion Week, aiming to bring joy, energy and inspiration to the industry — as was the aim of AZ Factory’s late founder, Alber Elbaz.

Chambers, best known for her 25-year stint as fashion director of British Vogue and her long collaboration with Marni through the Castiglionis’ era, said it was “truly an honor” to have been asked to contribute to Elbaz’s legacy.

“I even have been in the style industry for over 40 years now and he was a titan amongst men, not only a superb designer, but an exquisite human being,” she enthused. “To be surrounded by the team he brought together has been a joyous journey, crammed with memories in addition to recent beginnings. Molly and I feel in such protected and inspirational hands.”

Molloy, who had worked as design director at Marni, has consulted in recent times on J.J. Martin’s fashion brand La Double J, along with her work on Colville and the biannual publication Parterre De Rois.

She said she relished the chance to collaborate with AZ Factory “with a standard goal of creating women feel beautiful, strong and empowered.”

Molloy and Chambers are the most recent design talents invited to specific their interpretation of “smart fashion that cares.”

In an announcement shared first with WWD, AZ Factory said it chosen Chambers and Molloy because they “share a pointy vision that has all the time empowered diversely beautiful women in addition to free-spirited individuality.”

A glance from the Colville spring 2023 collection.

Courtesy of Colville

Chambers and Molloy founded Colville in 2018, describing it as “the antithesis of fast fashion” within the pursuit of garments with individuality and longevity, made in concert with women’s social projects and an ethos of sustainability. The brand also sells accessories and residential wares resembling blankets, cushions, rugs, poufs and vases.

A three way partnership forged between Compagnie Financière Richemont and Elbaz in 2019, AZ Factory has invited a spread of guest creatives, from young up-and-comers to more established talents, within the wake of the founder’s death in April 2021 from COVID-19.

Previous guest amigos and amigas — the nomenclature AZ Factory employs — have included South African designer Thebe Magugu; size-inclusive brand Ester Manas, designed by Ester Manas and Balthazar Delepierre, and Paris-based designer Lutz Huelle.

Richemont has been fine-tuning and elaborating the strategy and business model at AZ Factory, and has also dabbled in couture amongst AZ’s various product stories.

It recently said guest creators would also include recent graduates and high-potential students, plus left-field creatives circuitously related to fashion, resembling DJs.

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