The Life and Passing of Azzedine Alaia

Gone too soon…


Azzedine Alaia


The death of designer Azzedine Alaia, at aged 77, proved the fashion industry will be a whole different world for everyone, especially for women. Alaia worshipped women just as they worshipped him. He dedicated his life to creating ways to make women look and feel more remarkable through the clothes he created by hand. Alaia leaves behind the legacy of which gained him the nickname King of Cling.

Azzedine Alaia was born in Tunisia then moved to Paris at the young age of 17. Alaia went on to work with a young Yves Saint Laurent at Dior and then Guy Laroche. Among legends, Azzedine Alaia grew to be one himself. He went on to work with Thierry Mugler before then setting up his own house. The label Alaia grew because of his love of the female figure. He became best known for his use of body conscious fabric against the female form. His hard work began to pay off after the 1980’s, in his early 40s, after he produced his first ready-to-wear collection.

It is apparent Alaia lied about his age when he was younger, so he could gain a place at the local art school where he began to gain valuable insight into the human form and he later went on to study sculpture. He began working for his sister to pay for school supplies and to gain experience. Everything was experience to Alaia, turning him into one of the greats.

Azzedine Alaia had a cameo in Clueless which cemented his iconic status in fashion, whilst continuing to dress the most prolific women, from Grace Jones to Madonna. The soft fabrics where made to cling to the bodies of these icons. Desirable and delicate, his designs where admired by every audience.

Editor of British Vogue, Edward Enninful, remarked:

“Azzedine Alaïa was a true visionary, and a remarkable man. He will be deeply missed by all of those who knew and loved him, as well as by the women around the world who wore his clothes.”

Fashion will always be filled with heartbreak. Losing another great will leave a dent in the world of high fashion. We shall remember his teachings and let it inspire us. Alaia went from simply helping his sister to becoming one of the most important designers of our time. He had a hand in teaching the fashion world to appreciate the female form and this is evident in many other designers’ work today; carrying on his legacy.  His designs were timeless and he enhanced the industry with class and beauty.  He clearly not only loved people but also loved creating for them…

Post Author: Shauna Hill

Shauna Hill
I'm an aspiring fashion writer, currently studying Journalism in Leeds...

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