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Azzedine Alaïa. Fashion legend. Man of vision. Loved by everyone. The entire fashion world mourned his loss last November.

He was known for his timeless designs and ability to empower women with exquisite clothing designed carefully and uniquely for the female body. “I dressed women directly on their body, by intuition”, Alaïa once said. Alaïa was loved and admired by everyone in the industry. One of his closest friends was supermodel Naomi Campbell, who called him “Papa.”


Prosper Assouline, an iconic writer and publisher, and Azzedine Alaïa were close friends for over 30 years. In 1992 Assouline published a book on Alaia’s 1992 fashion show of that year, and after the Alaïa’s passing last year, it will be republished as a tribute to the designer. This collector’s book shows beautiful and personal moments behind the creative process of the designer, and what it took in order to achieve his iconic vision and designs.


Alaïa was born in 1935 in Tunis, Tunisia. His parents were farmers, and he had a brother and a twin sister who also loved fashion. Against his father’s will, he started studying at Tunis School of Fine Arts, and later on started working at a dress shop. He eventually moved to Paris where he started working for Dior, and years later opened his own couture house in 1979.


Alaïa moved to his own beat; he never followed the fashion schedule or trends. This separated him from everyone else. He started gaining popularity and recognition amongst wealthy clients, and he soon became one of the most famous designers in the industry.

Elegant. Unique. Timeless. His designs were worn by all kinds of women; from Michelle Obama to Lady Gaga.


Another thing the fashion genius was known for was inventing the whole concept of supermodels. His intimate shows in the ‘80s, all with the same models, positioned the girls as important and exclusive. Not only did Alaïa have a fashion relationship with them, but also he had a great, close relationship with the girls. Some of these models include Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista, and like we said before, Naomi Campbell.


A month after his passing, Naomi Campbell gave a speech honoring Alaïa at the Fashion awards. “Everyone in this room knows that Azzedine was able to transform a woman’s body into something special; make you look great and still like a woman. He captured the essence of femininity. But beyond his work as a designer, from the second day I met him, he became my papa. He was the most generous, kind, compassionate and humble man I have ever known…Azzedine was a protector, a teacher, a seeker and defender of all that is good and positive in this world. I am proud to be honouring, along with his daughters, a giant of fashion and a true master of humanity.”

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