So I’ve been wanting to do this post for a while and I figure that there’s no time like the present so here we go. This month I will be working through the fashion A,B,C’s showcasing a variety of fashion related facts, articles and fun-reads. From designers to silhouettes there will be anything you can think of. I really think that it will high-light the beauty of fashion on another level and give light to those who might not know as much as they think they do. I know that through my planning and research I learnt so much so I am happy to share!
As the alphabet goes today we’ll be starting with a very brief history of a very talented designer…
Azzedine Alaïa was born in Tunis, Tunisia, 26 February 1940. His love for couture started from a young age, with the influence flowing from his twin sister. Along with this sister, Azzedine would fuel his creativity gazing through copies of Vogue brought to him by a French friend of his mother. His desire to pursue a love of art meant that he had to lie about his age to get into the local École des Beaux-Arts in Tunis, where he studied the art of sculpture and the human form.
After his graduation, Azzedine began his career as a dressmaker’s assistant, soon dressing private clients. He set his sights higher and moved to Paris in 1957 and worked at Christian Dior as a tailleur. He went on to work for designer, Guy Laroche for two seasons, then heading to Thierry Mugler before opening his own first atelier in the late 70s, based in his little apartment on rue de Bellechasse. This atelier would soon become the maison where many of the world’s best would seek to be dressed, including the likes of Greta Garbo and from Marie-Hélène de Rothschild
It was in 1980 when he produced his first ready-to-wear collection. It was in the same year when iconic interior designer Andrée Putman was strolling down Madison Avenue wearing one of the first Azzedine Alaïa leather coats, when she was stopped by a Bergdorf Goodman buyer, this began the proceedings to his designs being sold in his new stores in New York and in Beverly Hills. It became a notably significant decade for Azzedine as he was voted for Best Designer of the Year and Best collection of the Year at the Oscars de la Mode by the French Ministry of Culture in 1984. The event was unforgettable as the Jamaican singer Grace Jones carried him in her arms on stage.
Unfortunately after the passing of his sister, Azzedine essentially vanished from the fashion world. Luckily not entirely as he continued to cater for a private clientele and continued the production of his ready-to-wear lines which were hugely successful.
In the year 2000, agreed to partner with the Prada group, which was a revitalizing step for him as a designer. It was then in 2007 where he able to magnificently buy back his house and name. Thus separating almost entirely from the Prada group, excluding his footwear and leather goods department which continued to be produced through the group. It was also, in 2007 when the Richemont group, which owns Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, acquired a stake in his fashion house.
Through it all, Alaïa has chosen to stay away from the marketing-driven logic of luxury conglomerates, choosing to focus on clothes and luxury products. Azzedine is respected for his individuality and passion for discreet luxury. Through his career, His seductive, clinging clothes were a massive success and he was named by the media ‘The King of Cling’ and still Alaïa remains the king.
Below are just a few of designs from some of his earliest collections to images from his 2014 A/W 15 collection.
While the style has changed quite a bit, it is fair to say that the look is always sexy and perfect for every woman!!
“Fashion will last forever. It will exist always. It will exist in its own way in each era.”
~ Azzedine Alaïa
Share your thoughts and comments below!
Thanks VB xx
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