Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined ’80s fashion, has died in Paris, his close friend Carla Sozzani, founder of 10 Corso Como, confirmed. He was 77.
The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes counted supermodel Naomi Campbell – his adoptive daughter – among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style.
Campbell opened his last couture show in July with, sitting side-by-side front row, Khelfa and Bruni-Sarkozy who recalled “the shows here with all the girls, and days and days spent here, sometimes for fittings, sometimes just hanging out.”
Also front row was photographer Jean-Paul Goude who in one of his iconic collage images immortalized a pint-sized Alaïa leaping into Khelfa’s arms.
He was also deeply admired by his peers, with Nicolas Ghesquière and Alber Elbaz among his designer admirers.
The so-called “king of cling” famously liked to present his collections according to his own agenda outside of the show calendar, highly intimate affairs that were held in his Rue de Moussy headquarters in Paris’ Marais district.
The fiercely private designer, with his uniform of black Chinese pajamas, also liked to host a flow of personalities from the worlds of film, fashion and art– including Sofia Coppola, Marc Newson and Julian Schnabel — in his sprawling open kitchen, a pony-sized St. Bernard dog, Didine, sprawled at his feet.
The Alaïa brand is owned by Compagnie Financière Richemont.