Alaïa, Azzedine

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Person

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Alaïa, Azzedine

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Dates of existence

1935-2017

History

Azzedine Alaïa was born in Tunis, Tunisia on February 26th, 1935. The son of a Tunisian wheat farmer, Alaïa was accustomed to working hard. His twin sister Hafida taught him how to sew as a way to make some extra money. Alaïa spent much of his youth reading fashion magazines from Paris. He studied sculpture at the École des Beaux Arts in Tunis before moving to Paris in 1957. Christian Dior hired him but the job lasted only five days; Alaïa's paperwork was not in order. Two aristocrat women took him under their wing, hiring the young designer as an au pair. Alaïa slowly accumulated customers, including Greta Garbo and novelist Louise de Vilmorin. The dancers at the Crazy Horse cabaret taught him the art of revealing the right amount of skin. While working at the houses of Guy Laroche and Thierry Mugler, Alaïa perfected his couture art, visiting textiles factories to research fabrics and spending his free time working with his private customers. In 1979, Alaïa opened his own house. The timing could not have been better as the designer's powerful and seductive garments were perfect for the 1980s. Throughout the decade, countless celebrities chose to wear his garments. Alaïa was unwilling to play by the rules, and by the mid-90s, he was not showing in accord with the set fashion schedule. He had private clients who kept him in business through the rest of the decade. In 2000, Prada acquired a stake of his company but seven years later, Alaïa bought it back to sell to the Richemont group. His one condition in the transaction was that he would work on his own pace. Alaïa showed collections sporadically throughout the 2000's and 2010's. His last collection was in July of 2017. Four months later, Azzedine Alaïa passed away.

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Related entity

Christian Dior (Firm) (1948 (date of establishment))

Identifier of related entity

US.20180927-015

Category of relationship

associative

Type of relationship

Christian Dior (Firm)

is or was an employer of

Alaïa, Azzedine

Dates of relationship

Description of relationship

Azzedine Alaïa worked for Christian Dior prior to opening his own fashion house.

Related entity

Mugler, Manfred Thierry (1948-)

Identifier of related entity

US.20180711.029

Category of relationship

associative

Type of relationship

Mugler, Manfred Thierry

is or was an employer of

Alaïa, Azzedine

Dates of relationship

Description of relationship

Azzedine Alaïa worked for Thierry Mugler prior to opening his own fashion house.

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Authority record identifier

US.20200715.011

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