In the middle of one of our favorite movies of all time, Clueless, Cher Horowitz, asked to get on the ground at gun point in the valley, fights back with her robber, shouting “This is an Alaia!” “An a-what-a?”, the gun holder snaps back, “He’s like a totally important designer!” and Cher was right.
My Obsession Is To Make Women Beautiful. When You Create With That In Mind, Things Can’t Go Out Of Fashion.
Azzedine Alaia was born in Tunis, Tunisia in 1940 to wheat farmers. Azzedine always had an eye for clothing, using his twin sister as his muse. Azzedine lied about this age to join the local arts school in Tunis and after graduation began working for a dressmaker. He had already gained private clients before the age of 17 when he moved to Paris, where he had brief stints at Christian Dior and Guy Laroche before settling at Thierry Mugler.
I Am Very Curious. Every Day, I Say: ‘What Am I Going To Learn Today, And Whom Am I Going To Meet?’
In the late 70s, Azzedine opened his own atelier in a little apartment on rue de Bellechasse for his private clients. Alaia stayed in this space for 20 years, dressing the some of the most fabulous stars in the world; Grace Jones, Greta Garbo, Tina Turner, Madonna and Raquel Welsh to name a few. Azzedine believes in the women’s form thus always has a fit model present in his atelier, available 24 hours a day, a role once filled by a young Naomi Campbell, whom Azzedine considers a daughter.
I Make Clothes; Women Make Fashion.
Producing his first women’s ready-to-wear collection in 1980, Azzedine shaped the 80s, literally. His bodycon, curve hugging silhouettes dominated the decade and his structural emphasis defined it. He opened stores in Paris, New York and Beverly Hills, the media called him the ‘King of Cling.’ Alaia was on the top of the totem pole; models loved him, other designers copied him and you couldn’t turn a corner without seeing an Alaia look. But when his sister died in the 90s, Azzedine all but disappeared from the fashion world.
Since, Azzedine has returned and continues to make some of the most stunning forms in the entire world, and of course, continues to dress some of the most famous celebrities today (Rihanna, Kim, Naomi, you name it).
We were honored to amass a large collection of Alaia pieces and celebrated them at our NYFW party this year, featuring a lovely retrospective of his work. If you are in NY, please stop and say hi. Azzedine is waiting….
And of course, because we are such big fans, LA has a selection, too. Azzedine, we love you!