How Azzedine Alaïa Dipped Into His ’90s Archives for Spring ’17

The expression “everything old is new again” is consistently turned on its head by Tunisian-born designer Azzedine Alaïa, who since the late Seventies has reinvented a core set of codes that define his style.

Alaïa armor sandals
Alaïa armor sandals.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

For his most recent collection, though — shown off-schedule and only when it was ready at his Paris atelier and showroom space (he doesn’t conform to fashion’s punishing calendar) — he brought back a beloved armor technique. It first debuted as a dress in 1991 and reappeared in 2010 as a vixenish two-piece short ensemble.

Alaïa archival dress, 1991
Alaïa archival dress, 1991.
CREDIT: Azzedine Alaïa
Alaïa archival dress, 2010
Alaïa archival dress, 2010.
CREDIT: Azzedine Alaïa


The interlocked grid, however, had never been carried over to footwear until now. For spring ’17, it formed the upper on signature stilettos and also on flat sandals. On the runway, all of the looks, which had a sporty verve, were paired with the lower option, a marked shift for Alaïa, who usually relies on towering heels to complete his curvaceous, articulated silhouettes. But times are indeed changing. Case in point: His new eyelet-perforated sneakers are now offered for both men and women for the first time.

Alaïa Spring 2017
CREDIT: Andrew Morales

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