If one of the first fashion designers you were ever exposed to was Azzedine Alaïa, you wouldn’t be alone. Clueless made him famous to many of us long before we ever sat front row at our first fashion show on Vogue.com. In the movie, Cher is held up at gunpoint and asked to lay on the asphalt. “But, this (her dress) is an Alaïa,” she protests as she begins to cry. “He’s like a totally famous designer.”
Today, “The King of Cling”—named as such because of his iconic body con designs in the ’80s—has died in Paris at the age of 77. The Tunisian-born designer began his fashion career as a dress-maker and moved to Paris in 1954 to work for Christian Dior. From there, he went to Guy Laroche and then to Tierry Mugler before setting up his own shop. In 1980, his first couture show established him as a star.
Twelve years later, Alaïa ceased to participate in the traditional fashion calendar, instead showing collections whenever they were ready. Earlier this year, he presented a collection for which his close friend Naomi Campbell made a rare runway appearance. Michelle Obama, Madonna, Cindy Crawford, and Victoria Beckham are among his many famous fans.
Today, many of Alaïa’s friends, colleagues and admirers are mourning his passing. Keep reading to see some of their touching tributes.
@faridakhelfa: “I will never take you in my arms like that again and it’s extremely sad.”
Rest in Peace, Azzedine Alaia. You will be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/XieuM3RN4N
— La Maison Gaga (@LaMaisonGagax) November 18, 2017
Hearing of the passing of Azzedine Alaia. A designer who embraced women of color as models and muses when others didn’t. May he rest in power and peace. pic.twitter.com/TzdiJUfBLo
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) November 18, 2017
@victoriabeckham: “A sad day.The world is a far less beautiful place without you. You were a true master and one of my greatest inspirations.”
— giovanna battaglia (@Bat_Gio) November 18, 2017