November 20, 2017

Azzedine Alaia, the sculptor of fashion, dies at 77

The Tunisian designer was a revolutionary in his way of understanding the fashion industry

The fashion cried this Saturday the death of one of its best designers, Azzedine Alaïa, aged 77. The Tunisian couturier was known as the "sculptor of fashion" and "the artisian of the body" for the way his designs fitted women’s bodies. Because, even though his love for fashion started young, Alaïa actually studied sculpture, and it wasn’t until his graduation that he began to work as the assistant of a dressmaker. Soon after that, he moved to Paris, where he worked for Christian Dior, Guy Laroche and Thierry Mugler before opening his own atelier in the lates 1970s. During the next decades he dressed many of the most important women of the jet set and Hollywood stars like Greta Garbo. In 1980 he presented his first ready-to-wear collection and moved to his current atelier in the Parisian district of Marais. Alaïa created iconic dresses for artists like Grace Jones (whose wardrobe in A View To Kill was designed by him) and discover Naomi Campbell, to whom he was a second father.

Alaïa did not only differentiate himself from other designers for his silhouettes and cared for detail, but also for his particular way of understanding the fashion world. The couturier rejected the notion of the "celebrity designer " and the fast pace of the industry. Alaïa even retired from the international circuit, refusing to create six collections each year. He had no problem postponing shows and presentations if he considered that he needed more time to finish the collection. "I don’t want to be a slave of the system", told SModa.

Undoubtedly, the lost of Alaïa leave the fashion world orphaned of one of its best and most special designers. R.I.P.