They were so close she referred to him as “papa”, and now, almost one year after the passing of Azzedine Alaïa, Naomi Campbell has made a touching visit to the late couturier’s final resting place. The catwalk icon and Vogue Arabia cover star this week visited Tunisia, where the Tunis-born designer’s gravestone is located. Alaïa, whose designs became synonymous with the glamour of the 1980s, passed away on November 18, 2017, in Paris, aged 82. Sharing an image of herself next to his resting place with her 5.9 million followers, Campbell captioned the shot: “I miss you papa, always in my heart.”
The designer became a father figure to Campbell, after first meeting when the model was just 16. After welcoming the runway star into his home for dinner while she was in Paris, Alaïa took Campbell under his wing, helping to nurture her throughout her career. “Azzedine saw something in me and taught me to have confidence,” the model told the Independent back in 1998. “I didn’t know how to do runway when I started modeling, but he believed in me. That brought attention from other designers, and is kind of how I became known – because other designers heard of this little girl Azzedine was working with.” Campbell was joined in Tunisia by fellow model Farida Khelfa, who also posted an image on her Instagram page. “I miss you,” wrote the Algerian-French model, who has also known Campbell since her teenage years.
The British supermodel opened up about her relationship with Alaïa in her cover story for the November issue of Vogue Arabia, revealing his death shook her to the core. “I miss him so much,” Campbell said. “People say the business is fickle but I’ve found a second family. I cherish my friendships of 32 years and I’m so happy that I can pick up the phone and go to dinner with people I’ve known for that long. It’s the trust and bond that’s unconditional.”
Campbell’s trip to Tunisia falls just before her next adventure, as she prepares to jet into Dubai later this week. We’re bringing the legendary model to The Dubai Mall on November 15, as part of Vogue Loves Fashion Avenue, a 10-day celebration that marks the lifestyle destination’s 10th anniversary. Taking to our custom-created main stage in The Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue, the star — who boasts three decades at the top of her game — will open up about her wide-reaching career in discussion with Vogue Arabia’s Editor-in-Chief, Manuel Arnaut.
A Night With Supermodel Naomi Campbell will begin at 7pm on Thursday, November 15, at the Vogue Loves Fashion Avenue main stage at The Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue. Spaces are limited and on a “first come, first served” basis. For more information about Vogue Loves Fashion Avenue, including a list of exclusive talks with celebrities and style icons, masterclasses from industry experts, and live performances, click here.