Azzedine Alaïa, a Tunisian born designer who had great influence in modern fashion design passed away yesterday at the age of 77. Born in June 1939, in Tunisia, to a family of wheat farmers. His sister and famous midwife Madame Pinot taught him about fashion and inspired in him a passion for couture, at a young age. He eventually enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts to study sculpture, here he gained respect for the symmetry and movement of shape and the human form, this has continued to inform his designs.
Alaïa became known as the “King of Cling” for his flattering knit garments that molded to the body of the wearer. Once on being asked if he would sue Herve Leger over his zipped Arrietty dress, he famously said, “NOW, HERVÉ LÉGER SAYS THAT HE IS THE ONE TO HAVE CREATED THE CONCEPT OF THE ZIPPED DRESS. HE BETTER KEEP IT LOW, BECAUSE I COULD SUE HIM!”
Azzedine Alaïa who was often an outspoken critic of the fashion industry, just ripped apart two of its biggest power players: Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour. Alaïa has had a longstanding feud with Wintour–in 2009, when he was omitted from the “Model as Muse” exhibit at the Met’s Costume Institute, he told WWD that Wintour “behaves like a dictator and everyone is terrified of her.” In a candid interview with Virgine Magazine, Alaïa also talks about Galliano (whose job at Dior he reportedly turned down), blaming his troubles on the “system” of the fashion industry. He essentially called the Kaiser a “caricature” who has “never touched a pair of scissors in his life” and Anna a business person with no taste who everyone fears.
All that hate was fine with Azzedine Alaïa because, as he repeatedly stated through interviews, women love him!