Azzedine Alaïa: The capricious fashion legend

The great designer Azzedine Alaïa was born on June 7 in Tunis and began studying sculpture. However, it was his great passion and taste for fashion that led him to stop sculpting marbles and stones to dress female silhouettes.


In his beginnings, the great designer had to lie about his age to be able to enter the École des Beaux-Arts. Upon graduation, he decided to move to the fashion capital, Paris. And he started working on nothing more and nothing less than the best fashion houses: Christian Dior, Guy Laroche and Thierry Mugler.

Over time, he began to work independently and in the year of 1980 launched his first collection, which was characterized by using dark colors.

The designs are powerful, they have a great touch of elegance and sensuality. And he is one of the few designers that gets involved in everything that entails the creation of his designs. From the materials, pattern, shapes and volumes.

Even with his great talent and recognition in the industry, Azzedine has been a great critic about the environment that revolves around the world of fashion. In a business that is always in constant change and that is accelerated even more thanks to social networks, Alaïa has been a capricious and rebellious designer who has not fallen before it. For him, there are no different seasons or weeks of fashion and we can also notice that he does not make massive publicity of his brand. Therefore, it is very rare that you see an advertisement for it in any magazine or digital media.

Azzedine is not the designer who needs millions of likes to be recognized. Your work speaks for itself.


Alaïa was the one who discovered and sponsored Naomi Campbell when she was only 16 years old. Even for the supermodel, the designer is like her dad (and rightly so, since he made her his muse, and in this way she has risen to fame). Down Naomi, tells how they met:

I met Azzedine when I was 16 years old. It was my first day working in Paris and someone stole all my money. I did not know anyone in the city and I did not know how I was going to eat. A fellow model who was doing a show with Azzedine took me to dinner, and I ate very well. Immediately I thought he was very sweet, normal and humble, because he was cooking dinner in the kitchen. He also served the food himself. I did not say a word, because I did not speak French. But when I left, he gave me a dress.

After that, every time I came to Paris, I stayed with him. He gave me my own room and I still have it. My mother did not want me to go to the clubs and she never let me go. Once, I wanted to escape by going out the window to take the taxi I was waiting for. When he found out, Azzedine put me in the room above, so if I wanted to leave, I would have to go through his room.

Now, when I come, we sit and watch television. He loves Tunisia and still has very strong roots. We cook eggs, fish or lamb chops in the kitchen and have dinner. Now that I’m an adult, Azzedine also comes to my house. But the most important thing is that we laugh. We fight and we laugh.

He is a great joker. Throughout the 12 years that I know him, he has played me a lot of jokes. I have lost count of the number of times I was pricked with the bolts during the accessories. Sometimes, I went to bed at night and put things under the sheets. I remember that once I fell down the stairs. There was no ice in the freezer. So Azzedine put a leg of lamb on my head because it was the only thing I had frozen.

Azzedine saw something in me and taught me to have confidence. I did not know how to parade when I started modeling, but he believed in me. That attracted the attention of other designers, and that’s how I made myself known – because other designers heard about this little girl that Azzedine was working with.

He really taught me everything about the business, and he also taught me more important things about life: being yourself, doing things with integrity and doing things from the heart. I think you can really say that he manages to do all those things. Only design when you want to design. He is always doing something new, but he does not work at a time. Work according to your own schedule. He likes to work late into the night, until three or four in the morning. He does not have to make a fashion show because people will come and want to buy his clothes – always and what he wants to do. He is really unique. He understands a woman’s body better than any other designer. All the other designers respect Azzedine for that and they greet him for it.

Fame has not changed at all. Keep working the same way you did the day you started. He has to look at each pattern. Still review everything; Every thing. He does not let anything come out without him having looked at it and sewn it up and disowned it.

My relationship with Azzedine is different from the ones I have with other designers, because he is the only one with whom I have lived. I call him “Dad” and we really have a father-daughter relationship. When he’s mad at me or crazy about something, he picks up the phone and calls my mother. He is very sincere and that is another important thing in a friend. When he does not like the things I do, he tells me. I was very lucky and lucky to meet him. Knowing Azzedine kept me on the right track.

Your friendship means a lot to me and I hope to have it forever. It is more than just material things and clothes. He is someone in the world that I know I can call whenever I’m down, in need of anything or just want to talk.

One of my best memories is when I was so overloaded with work at one point and I called him and he said, “Come home, ma fille! He prepared dinner for me and put me in bed.” Then he called my agency and he told me: “Stop working excessively, you do not need to do all these things.” It is that genuine love of yours that is very special to me. – Naomi Campbell ♥

Some of the celebrities that are his faithful followers: Julia Roberts, Madonna, Lindsay Lohan, Gwen Stefani, Victoria Beckham and even the former first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.




We hope you liked this post. Tell us in comments, of all the creations of Azzedine. Which one did you like the most?
And if you would like to know more about Azzedine Alaia we recommend you read about him in ActitudFem

Post Author: TF

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