The King of Cling
Azzedine Alaïa Fashion
Along with Chanel, Escada, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Versace, and alike, we often find designer items from Azzedine Alaia at our Austin estate sales. Oddly his designs from the 1990’s can fetch more than his new items due to their rare nature in both design and lack of availability. If you have any of this designers items, you may be surprised at the values at resale. Should you be lucky enough to have any of his pieces that were seen in movies or on the runway, back up the brinks truck!
Azzedine Alaïa is a Tunisian born designer that is known for his dramatic ‘clingy’ designs.
Azzedine was brought up by his grandparents and at age 15 enrolled at l’École des beaux-arts de Tunis to study sculpture. Soon after his interest in sculpture diminished and he turned his focus to fashion design. His design career first started with a job finishing hems, then he went on to be a dressmaker’s assistant, helping to replicate couture gowns by designers that include Dior, Pierre Balmain, and Cristóbal Balenciaga for wealthy clients. It was at this point that Azzedine refined his talents for such high quality work.
In 1957 Azzedine moved to Paris and his first job was for Dior, but it was short lived lasting only 5 days. He then was employed by Guy Laroche, where he learned even more about dress making and the architecture of designs.
Soon he was doing freelance work to wealthy Parisians. he soon opened his own studio where he developed a following of clients up to 1984. Some of his clients included Greta Garbo and members of the Rothschild family. He also worked for high end designers on the side such as Yves St Lauren and others.
In the 1970s, Azzedine changed his focus to everyday wear so he could appeal to a larger market than just g wear. He did some work for Thierry Mugler and as well as Charles Jourdan. At times his designer s were too sexy so some of his designs were rejected.
Starting in the 1980’s his designs have been sold in Bergdorf Goodman and soon after he opened his first boutique in Beverly Hills. He since has been honored with the Designer of the Year award in 1985 and he regularily dresses the rich and famous including Stephanie Seymour, Grace Jones. His was also the first designer to hire supermodel Naomi Campbell for his shows.