Celebrated across the world for his nonconformist nature and incredible talent; Azzedine Alaïa always remained true to his beliefs and never allowed anything or anyone to restrain or command him. He constructed each masterpiece by hand and never bowed down to the pressure of fashion week deadlines and made his own schedule; Azzedine Alaïa live and died a free man.
Azzedine was born in Tunisia on the 26th of February 1940 where he started working as a dressmaker’s assistant, he had the talent and an eye for beauty.
He moved to Paris in 1957 and worked at Christian Dior, Guy Laroche and Thierry Mugler until he opened his first atelier in his apartment in the rue de Bellechasse in the late 70’s.
His namesake grew in the 80’s and he started doing ready to wear collections, displaying in New York City and Beverly Hills at Bergdorf and he was voted “Best Designer of the Year” and “Best Collection of the year” at the Oscar de la Mode by the French ministry of culture in 1984.
If the 80’s rose him to fame; the 90’s made him a staple name for discreet luxury. He disappeared from the fashion scene but presented to his private clientele and enjoyed commercial success for his ready to wear and shoe collections.
His revival in the 2000’s into that very same fashion scene brought his Maison back in vigour and allowed him to be named “Chevalier de la legion d’honneur” by the French government in 2008.
Alaïa is a name that resonated through three fashion decades and remained on top, it’s a name that never faltered and will always mean supreme luxury and nobody said it better than Alicia Silverstone in “Clueless” while protesting kneeling in a parking lot “This is an Alaïa!”.
Text by GD
Azzedine Alaïa is avaiable at Boutique1 and at Dubai Mall New Fashion Extension.
Azzedine’s portrait by Peter Lindbergh.