Alaïa was well-respected within the fashion community and attracted legions of fans. In the wake of his death, designers and other celebrities have taken to social media to celebrate his life.
The designer served as a father figure for numerous supermodels, including Naomi Campbell and Stephanie Seymour, who posted a shot of Alaïa giving her a hug with the caption, “My papa.”
Kourtney and Kim Kardashian also posted tributes to the designer on Instagram, with Kourtney reflecting on a time she and her sister ate lunch cooked by Alaïa.
Rihanna posted a sweet tribute to Alaïa as well, writing simply, “my dear, ALAIA… you will live on forever. rip.”
Among the designer set, some were hit hard by the death of a man they considered a mentor.
Brandon Maxwell posted a long tribute to Alaïa, calling the late designer, ” My idol, the golden standard, the greatest that will have ever been.”
You were and will always be to me, the King. My idol, the golden standard, the greatest that will have ever been. One of the greatest gifts I was given in this lifetime was the gift of knowing you. You treated me with love and kindness. Every time I stepped foot in your area code, you welcomed me in, you welcomed my parents in, you welcomed my friends in. And now all we have are the memories, the memories that will last me a lifetime and give me the strength to continue, to continue to try and live my life with even one percent of the truth, conviction, and dedication with which you lived yours. To watch you run your hands over a woman's body and fit her, to watch her face light up in your presence, was nothing short of magic. And that magical spark landed on everyone in your orbit. I'll never forget the first time I had a fashion show, coming to your house and plugging my little USB in to your TV in the kitchen and showing you the video with such nervousness and feeling a feeling of thankfulness I've never felt, just to even be sitting across from you. Showing you my tiny collection that looked like a junior high art project next to your Picasso was daunting, but you smiled, and patted me on the back and kept watching enthusiastically. And that was the thing about you, your life was not about who's who and what's what, you lived a life with feeling, with emotion, with passion. You never played by the rules of the system, you wrote your own and you lived with dignity and pride. You woke up each day surrounded by your work, and ended each night surrounded by your friends, you lived a life with purpose. You were the rare star, a gift given to us from up above, a constant reminder that being a fashion designer is not about seeing and being seen, about being popular or not, but about helping those who wear it to feel their best, to feel empowered, to become strong. Women feel it in every stitch of your clothes, and we all felt it in your presence. Since I've started as a designer, I've often been asked the question, who do you look up to the most? The answer will forever be, Azzedine Alaia. I love you, may you forever rest in the peace you deserve. 🖤
Others, including Victoria Beckham and Alber Elbaz, echoed Maxwell’s words of praise for the late designer.
While Alaïa dressed numerous celebrities for big events over the years, many fans on social media platforms are pointing to a scene in the ’90s teen flick “Clueless,” in which Alicia Silverstone’s character, Cher Horowitz, gets robbed and refuses to bend to the ground because she’s wearing an Alaïa dress.