The list of Azzedine Alaïa’s A-list loyalists reads like a who’s who of the fashion world. The Tunisian-born designer with over 40 years’ experience has delivered consistent, extreme luxury to women’s wardrobes the world over. His meteoric rise from anonymity to notoriety occurred in the late ‘70s after his private clientele list extended beyond Marie-Hélène de Rothschild and Greta Garbo to Tina Turner, Grace Jones, and muse Stephanie Seymour. Although Alaïa’s approach is confidently poised for slow fashion, he is one of the few remaining designers to work exclusively on living models, executing designs destined to be worn on the red carpet, for an audience with a figurehead, or for the glass corner office.
The former sculptor handcrafts every piece of his couture and ready-to-wear collections––hence the two week wait after fashion month closed––which typically comprise sixty percent knits. While Alaïa brought many of today’s key pieces into the fashion lexicon (think luxury leggings, bandage dresses, and daytime bustiers) way back when, his designs remain at the zeitgeist for stars such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Kate Moss, and his long-term friend Naomi Campbell, who he mentored when she first moved to Paris.
Vogue Arabia traces the style evolution of Alaïa’s couture genius, as seen on the stars of the international red carpets and beyond, from the signature flared, knit minidress to the enveloping gowns that make even the slightest of movements appear in slow motion.
Read about Alaïa’s second perfume launch.