Gilles Elalouf, Cofounder of Y/Project, Dies at 58

PARIS — Entrepreneur Gilles Elalouf, the cofounder of Y/Project, has died at the age of 58, the company said.

A former advertising executive, Elalouf founded the label in 2010 with the late Yohan Serfaty and was president of the board of shareholders. He passed away in Fontenay-sous-Bois near Paris on Sunday after a long illness. 

Glenn Martens, who took over as creative director of Y/Project in 2013, paid tribute to the businessman on Monday.

“Merci Gilles. For trusting me. For making magic together. For 10 years of the greatest adventure. You will be missed forever. Love you,” he wrote on Instagram, signing off with a red rose emoji.

Y/Project grew rapidly under the pair’s stewardship, and Elalouf and Martens celebrated together when the label won the Grand Prize at the ANDAM Fashion Awards in 2017.

“Gilles was a remarkable individual, known for his unwavering dedication to his work and particularly to Y/Project,” Pascal Conte-Jodra, who joined the brand as chief executive officer last year, said in a statement sent to WWD.

“He was an endearing character, whose legacy of compassion and resilience will forever remain in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing him,” he added.

Elalouf started his career at Boston Consulting Group and subsequently joined Publicis Groupe, where he remained for 10 years, according to his LinkedIn profile. In parallel with establishing Y/Project, he founded Second Stage Pharma, a start-up pharmaceutical laboratory dedicated to the revitalization of established products.

He was also an active member of the Espace Culturel et Universitaire Juif d’Europe, or ECUJE, an organization founded in Paris more than 50 years ago to promote Jewish culture and academic education in the field of Jewish studies, according to a tribute on the organization’s website. 

“Through his personal commitment to an institution he grew up in, Gilles has left his mark on each of us. An active member and unwavering supporter of the ECUJE, he was a pillar of our community and his absence leaves a huge void. His generosity and dedication were sources of inspiration for all,” it said.

He is survived by his parents Mady and Edmond, his brother Daniel and his sister Yaël, the organization added. Funeral services were due to take place on Monday. 

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