The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode announced on Saturday that the great couturier Azzedine Alaïa died at the age of 82. Considered one of the greatest designers of the 20th and 21st Centuries, his work influenced many emerging and established designers around the world. A 28-image slideshow “Remembering Azzedine Alaïa With His Best Looks in Vogue” was published in memoriam of the designer.
Dubbed the “King of Cling,” Alaïa maintained total creative independence throughout his career. Removing himself from the traditional fashion week schedule, he preferred instead to set his own schedule and host intimate presentations in a private Marais-district showroom.
Wearing an Alaïa creation was and will continue to be a surefire way to get on every best dressed list. The legendary designer tended to fittings himself with clients such as former first lady Michelle Obama, former first lady of France Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Greta Garbo. Naomi Campbell simply called him “Papa.” Grace Jones once carried him in her arms onto the stage to receive one of his many designer accolades.
On May 25th, 2005, Azzedine Alaïa and his close friend Carla Sozzani, the creator of 10 Corso Como in Milan, were guests of honor at the annual Academy of Art University Graduation Fashion Show. Dr. Elisa Stephens, President of the University, awarded both fashion icons with honorary doctorate degrees for their outstanding contributions to the fashion industry. May 25th was officially declared “Azzedine Alaïa and Carla Sozzani Day” in San Francisco by Gavin Newsom who was then the Mayor of San Francisco and is presently the Lieutenant Governor of California.
“Azzedine Alaïa was a true visionary, and a remarkable man. He will be deeply missed by all of those who knew and loved him , as well as by the women around the world who wore his clothes,” said British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful. “The generosity of his spirit and genius of his designs will never be forgotten.”