On Friday, Richemont, the Swiss luxury group, announced that it had entered into a partnership with Elbaz, the former Lanvin designer whose abrupt firing in 2015 after a falling out with the owner of the brand became for many a symbol of what was wrong with the fashion world.

Now Elbaz is aiming to set things right.

Called AZfashion, the company will be that rare thing in the European high-end fashion space: a new brand. With, possibly, a new approach to the industry.

“It’s a start-up,” Elbaz said on the phone from Paris. “I just signed an hour ago. My heart is still beating, and I haven’t even had any Champagne.”

He also didn’t have too many details about exactly what shape the new brand would take, other than to say it would be “project based.”

“We are not going to do pre-collections, collections, post-collections,” he said. “It’s going to be about things I believe are relevant to make. We are just beginning now. And we are beginning really, really small. I like the idea of starting small today.”

The company, which is described as a joint venture — although Elbaz said Richemont was the majority owner — will be based in Paris.

“I didn’t want to call it Alber Elbaz, because it’s not about me, myself and I,” he said. “It’s going to be about we and us. And it’s going to go from A to Z.” (He means that literally and metaphorically: The name is composed of the first and last letters of his name, and also refers to his approach.) It is also going to be about luxury, but, he said, “Today, luxury is not just about price.”

Elbaz, 58, who during his 14-year tenure at Lanvin became synonymous with a certain grace and generosity of aesthetic, and who was widely beloved in the industry both for his skill with a seam and his willingness to embrace and express his own neuroses, has been largely off the fashion map for the past four years.

Although he became active on Instagram after leaving Lanvin (he has about 124,000 followers) and did the occasional collaboration — with LeSportsac and, more recently, Tod’s — and although his name was often raised in speculation when top designer jobs became available, he often seemed ambivalent about re-entering the modern fashion industry, one driven by social media, influencers and a constant stream of product. Indeed, he has been one of its most vocal critics.

Which makes it interesting that he chose to make his comeback via a deal with Richemont, one of the big three global luxury groups, along with LVMH and Kering, but one that is focused on watches and jewellery. (Richemont owns Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Piaget, among others.)

AZfashion will be one of only a handful of clothing brands in the conglomerate, along with Chloe, Alaia and Dunhill. (Richemont also owns Yoox Net-a-Porter Group.) Although Richemont is often viewed as being less comfortable with fashion than with jewellery, and has struggled with some of its ready-to-wear brands, the company also has a tendency to treat them as jewels unto themselves.

In a news release, Johann Rupert, the chairman of Richemont, said: “Upon hearing Alber Elbaz describe his vision for fashion and the projects it inspires in him, I was again struck by his creativity and insight. His talent and inventiveness, with his sensitivity toward women and their well-being, will be of great value to our group and its maisons.”

Elbaz, who said he “knew almost no one from Richemont” in his previous fashion life, said he had met Rupert in August, and the deal had come together very quickly, based on “mutual respect and trust,” qualities he noted he had learned were very important after his Lanvin experience.

“Time, for all of us designers, is the most important ingredient: time to think, to dream, to see, to produce, and that’s what they are going to give me,” he said. “Plus some resources.”

Neither Elbaz nor Richemont provided any details about when the first of the AZfashion projects would appear or what form they would take. Still, one thing is certain: Given Elbaz’s reputation, everyone will be watching.

If he does succeed in disrupting the system, either in the way he shows his work or in how he defines a collection, it could have a domino effect on other designers, freeing them up to experiment with different structures and expectations. And freeing up their backers to believe that starting a new brand with a talented creative is a worthwhile bet, rather than simply trying to match a designer with a heritage house.

At the moment, however, “it is time for me to go back to work and realise my dreams and hire some people,” Elbaz said.