Tunisian-born designer Azzedine Alaïa, whose clingy dresses marked the 1980s and 1990s has died at age 77. Alaïa’s love of fashion was inspired by his glamorous twin sister, and through reading a family friend’s copies of Vogue as a youngster.
Alaïa was dubbed the “King of Cling” after his body-con fashions and use of proportion; having studied sculpture in Tunis, he had an extraordinary eye for shape and fit. He designed the famous dress character Cher wore to the Valley party in the movie Clueless where she says “This is an Alaïa”.
He launched his first ready-to-wear collection in the early eighties and helped define the decade’s style. He was best known for meticulous tailoring and flattering, form-fitting designs, especially dresses and knits. For his own personal style, he stuck with a uniform of black Chinese pyjamas.
He hadn’t released a new collection since 2011 until January of this year when Naomi Campbell his ultimate muse made a surprise appearance at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week showing off his Autumn/Winter 2017 collection – Alaïa is widely credited with launching Campbell’s career when she was just 16-years old.
According to British Vogue‘s Editor, Edward Enningful:
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. The generosity of his spirit and genius of his designs will never be forgotten. R.I.P