Article Nov 18, 2016

You are no longer passing

Azzedine Alaia gains validation from happy customers

Azzedine Alaia finds seeing women happy in his clothes to be the best validation.

The Tunisian-born couturier produced his first ready-to-wear collection in 1980, with his seductive, curve-hugging designs snapped up by the likes of Grace Jones, Naomi Campbell and Madonna.

Even after several decades in business, at the heart of Alaia’s philosophy is a desire to make women feel confident and beautiful in his clothes.

“When I make dresses for women, for my friends, and I see that I’m making them feel beautiful, when I see that they’re happy, I’m happy too. I am always happy to see women happy,” he told in a rare interview. “If she’s getting married, she’s going to wear that dress, she’s going to have memories of it. It’s an important moment, a big thing, so I feel I should do as much as I can to make the clothes perfect.”

Alaia also refuses to adopt the traditional fashion calendar and shows his clothes when he’s ready.

The designer showed his spring 2017 womenswear collection on Sunday (23Oct16), presenting almost three weeks after Paris Fashion Week had wrapped up.

“I live with the climate. I am like fruit. When I’m ready, I’m ready. There are no rules, it’s a way of life,” he shared.

Though the 76-year-old insists in setting his own time frames, he is more than willing to learn to find inspiration from a variety of places, including architects, artists, photographers and writers.

And Alaia credits his friends as providing the greatest source of motivation.

“When I wake up in the morning, I brush my teeth and then I think, ‘Who am I going to meet today, which new people, and what am I going to learn?’ Because I’m always an apprentice. My friends are very important to me. When I love my friends, I love them with the deepest love,” he continued.