Alaia’s passion for discrete luxury, his independence, and his refusal to accept the logic of marketing-driven luxury conglomerates made him a hero. Catherine Lardeur said that Alaia was still the king. Alaia has been a fashion icon for decades. He holds shows only when he feels a show is necessary. Many people still aspire to his designs.
Alaia was born in Tunisia 26 February 40 to wheat farmer parents. His twin inspired him to be a Vogue fanatic by becoming a young devotee. He lied about age and got into the local Ecole des Beaux-Arts to study sculpture. Alaia, after graduating from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, began working as an assistant to a tailor. After graduating, he began working as a dressmaker’s assistant at Christian Dior. However, he was soon dismissed. He moved on to Guy Laroche and worked there for two years before joining Thierry Mugler. In the 1970s he opened his own atelier, which was located in his rue de Bellechasse flat. He dressed a variety of clients privately, including Marie-Helene de Rothschild as well as Louise de Vilmorin or Greta Garbo. In 1980, he created his first collection for ready-to-wear. In 1984 he won Best Designer as well as Best Collection at the Oscars de la Mode. Melka Treston of Depeche Mode as well as Nicole Crassat French Elle both featured his work regularly. Media dubbed him ‘The King Of Cling’ for his hugely successful clothes. Fashionistas and celebrities were among the devotees. Victoria Beckham is a fan of Alaia and has worn the designer to two Academy Award Parties in 2007. Michelle Obama also regularly uses Alaia. She wore Alaia’s sleeveless dresses with skirts to the NATO banquet and to the American Ballet Theatre’s Spring Gala.
Alaia practically disappeared from fashion during the mid-1990s. This was due to his personal life. But he still catered to private clients, and his ready-to-wear line was a commercial success. It was a sad day for the industry when he died. Edward Enninful of Vogue said today that “Azzedine alaia is a visionary, a man with a lot to offer and a very remarkable person.” “He was loved by all who knew him. And by the women from around the globe who wore the clothes he designed,”.