Remembering Azzedine Alaïa: 7 defining moments that formed the esteemed fashion designer’s profession


Few designers can say her affect was once so nice that Greta Garbo knocked on her door difficult a brand new outfit, however that was once Alaïa. Greater than only a designer, Alaïa was once an artistic genius, shut collaborator and pal, using iconic style moments and redefining fashionable high fashion.

On these days, 5 years in the past, the sector misplaced no longer most effective probably the most biggest couturiers of all time, but additionally a cultural icon for Tunisians like me. Strolling the well-trodden cobbled streets of Sidi Bou Mentioned, my circle of relatives’s place of origin, Alaïa’s humble roots weren’t too other from my very own. For the folk of Tunisia, it confirmed that the rustic was once no longer only a clothes producer however a wealthy territory for creativity.

Over the process her 40-year profession, Alaïa didn’t persist with the craze calendar. Enjoying with texture, form and share, he’s most likely very best known for his signature curve-hugging appears to be like made well-known via Madonna, Naomi Campbell and Grace Jones. In birthday party of his existence and legacy, we pay tribute to the mythical fashion designer.

The Tunisian youngster

The son of a neighborhood wheat farmer, Alaïa grew up within the idyllic blue and white suburb of Sidi Bou Mentioned, Tunisia. With an eye fixed for element, the younger ingenious spent his days flipping thru his grandmother’s coveted Style magazines and sculpting on the École des Beaux Arts in Tunis. It was once right here that his interest for design actually took off and, with the strengthen of his circle of relatives, he started making garments for the rich women of the group.

Azzedine takes Paris

It wasn’t lengthy prior to the budding fashion designer moved to Paris in 1957, desperate to hone his craft, operating with the mythical Christian Dior, Thierry Mugler and Man Laroche, despite the fact that he most effective spent per week at Dior, declaring that “it will have to no longer be they appreciated it”. my face!”

This didn’t deter Alaïa, who in 1979 opened her first atelier in her studio at the notorious Rue de Bellechasse, whilst designing elaborate clothes for dancers at Loopy Horse. In 1980, she offered her first ready-to-wear assortment. Her adapted leather-based and spandex attire, her princess-line jackets, and her rubber trench coats introduced her rapid luck and a number of shoppers, together with Rothschild women Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo.

When Alaïa met Naomi

Even though Alaïa had many muses, her friendship with Naomi Campbell was once definitely one among her maximum precious. Sooner than she was once referred to as the stick insect she is as of late, Campbell was once a 16-year-old south London lady who misplaced all her cash on her first day in Paris. With a generosity that was once so innate, Alaïa resolutely took Campbell underneath her wing lined in a black chinaiserie cloak, phoned her mom, and made certain Naomi was once nicely clothed, fed, and secure from her.

“To start with, Naomi simply slept on a bed. However she would break out throughout the window to head clubbing with different women. So I put her within the room upstairs to control her,” stated the well-known North African fashion designer. the impartial in 1998. For Naomi, Alaïa would at all times be her ‘dad’, a chum and father determine in the middle of the empty trade.

Alaia, AW91

king of clinging

Although you do not know Alaïa via title, the likelihood is that top that you’re going to acknowledge her signature designs. With beautiful body-hugging robes that hugged the determine like a 2d pores and skin, the loved fashion designer earned the nickname “King of Clinging.” Previous Kim Ok’s Skims butt-enhancing girdle line, Alaïa’s bodywork has lengthy confirmed to be method forward of her time. The inventor of the bandage get dressed, his affect can also be observed no longer most effective in what we put on, however how we have interaction with our our bodies. Model professional Uschka Pittroff fabulously stated that “dressed in Alaia is like being in a person’s embody”: passionate, sensual and all-consuming. To position it bluntly, there’s no another devoted to shaping the feminine shape than him.

Grace Jones as Might Day in A View To Kill, gown design via Azzedine Alaïa

/ A view to kill for

Lend a hand lend a hand

One in all Alaïa’s maximum memorable ventures into popular culture was once when she was once designing outfits for disco legend Grace Jones. In her first appearing position of hers, A View to a Kill (1985), Jones performs fatal henchwoman Might Day dressed head-to-toe in a bodycon, hooded get dressed via Alaïa. Entire with a poisonous spiked butterfly, her weapon of selection, Jone’s subversive outfit is a refreshing departure from the former damsels in misery related to the Bond franchise. In the back of the scenes, the queen of androgyny was once shut buddies with Alaïa. She even carried him up on level, a foot taller than him, to obtain the 1984 Absolute best Number of the 12 months on the Model Oscars.

AFP by means of Getty Pictures

Naomi Campbell for Alaïa, FW91

/ Alaia, AW91

Alaïa’s animal kingdom

Along with dressing the unique creatures of favor’s elite, Alaïa was once additionally a faithful animal lover, having 8 cats and canine in her lifetime. She hardly ever noticed the 5-foot-2 fashion designer with out Didine, an enormous Saint Bernard and devoted pal of hers via her facet. A lot of the clothes created for her included her love of nature and the animal international, adapting her options to the feminine shape. Alaïa crafted beautiful crocodile pores and skin coats and skimpy leopard print jumpsuits worn via supermodels Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista and Helena Christensen.

AFP by means of Getty Pictures

A super artist is rarely happy.

One in all style’s biggest iconoclasts, Alaïa rejected the speculation of ​​new tendencies, as a substitute presenting his collections on his personal time table with out adhering to the trade’s strict and foolproof calendar.

In 2008, the design grasp grew to become down one among France’s perfect honors, the Chevalier de l. a. Légion d’honneur. Reportedly, she even grew to become down an be offering at Dior, following John Galliano’s unexpected departure in 2011. “It is going to be waiting when it is waiting” was once the resonant motto of Alaïa, who was once keen to forgo the trade’s standard time table and disclose her paintings as soon as he himself was once happy.

So long as she’s long past, Alaïa won’t ever be forgotten and can at all times be rooted in our hearts. In honor of her passing 5 years in the past, we salute you, her uncompromising method to design, her rebellious spirit, and her boundless creativity.

Leave a Comment