The fashion world is mourning the death of couturier Azzedine Alaïa at the age of 82 in Paris. The fashion designer named "the King of Cling” was known for designs that placed the body into unimaginable proportions.
The French Federation of Haute Couture and Fashion announced his death on November 18, 2017. The cause of death was reported to be heart failure.
Alaïa was born in Tunis in 1940 (this date is not confirmed as he usually lied about his age). He trained as a sculptor in the Institut Supérieur des Beaux Arts in Tunis. According to him, he realized he was not going to become a great sculptor so he changed directions.
He began his career as an assistant to a dressmaker and then moved to Paris in 1957. He worked with Christian Dior for a brief five days and was fired for not having correct immigration papers.
After Dior, he went to Guy Laroche for two seasons and then Thierry Mugler. Alaïa opened his own atelier in 1979. This became the flame for highly-acclaimed Hollywood stars.
By the 1980s, he had become an independent couturier and produced his first ready-to-wear fashion show in 1980. This collection was a success and an exaltation of the female figure. His fitted designs managed to celebrate the female form.
Mindless of any traditional seasonal calendar, he continued to produce more collections. He retired from these shows in 1992. His catwalks were unpublicized and he would usually keep his audiences waiting for hours.
“When the collection is ready, it’s ready,” Alaïa would say. "Unless I have a length of fabric in my hand and a girl in front of me, I really can't come up with a lot of ideas."
There has been an outpouring of condolences from the fashion world in social media.