The House That Azzedine Built


Azzedine Alaïa Fall/Winter 07

1995’s teen gem “Clueless” introduced me to two of my Great Loves: Paul Rudd’s nose and Alaïa. I remember marveling at how incredibly tight and impossibly short Cher’s red dress was, wondering if I’d wear stuff like that when I got to high school (nope!), and sharing Cher’s righteous indignation when forced to lie on the ground by a mugger. “I don’t think you understand,” she says in horror. “This is an Alaïa.” And the guy didn’t understand, but even at 13, I did: Alaia’s creations were special, meant to be revered and respected. These days, the man himself is getting even more respect, with his groundbreaking body hugging designs influencing the collections of everyone from Christopher Kane to Armani. The icing on the proverbial cake? Prada Group’s recent decision to sell Azzedine Alaïa’s company back in full, giving him 100% control over his house, which Prada purchased in 2000 as part of a (failed) plan to build an international fashion conglomerate à la LVMH. My favorite thing about Alaïa is that he refuses to be a part of fashion’s bizarre cycle, showing collections when it pleases him and not during any kind of pre-ordained Fashion Week. Also, he once proclaimed in an interview that Anna Wintour had “no style,” a sure sign that the man is truly fearless. To celebrate Alaïa’s newfound freedom and continued success, I scoured Stylesight for dresses he surely inspired. Maybe I’ll also rent “Clueless” tonight and re-live my first experience with the “totally important designer” (and that Paul Rudd).


1. Louise Goldin 2. Allessandro Dell’Acqua 3. Christoper Kane
4. Iceberg 5. Erdem 6. Ann Sofie Black
7. Jean Pierre Braganza 8. Jasmine di Milo 9. Ungaro
10. La Perla 11. Abaete 12. Peter Som
13. Trussardi 14. Unconditional 15. DKNY
16. Sue Stemp 17. Preen 18. Pegah Anvarian
19. CNC 20. Emporio Armani 21. Alexander McQueen
22. Bebe 23. Nathan Jenden 24. Balmain

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.