Mourning Alaïa: The Designer’s Friends and Collaborators React

Mourning Alaïa: The Designer’s Friends and Collaborators React


After the news of Azzedine Alaïa’s death broke early Saturday, Instagram and Twitter flooded with tributes to the Tunisian-born designer. Below, some of the designer’s closest friends and collaborators shared their thoughts with us.

“I think one of the most memorable fashion moments I’ve ever had was seeing the wedding dress that Azzedine created for me. I didn’t know what the completed gown looked like until hours before my wedding; it was an incredible moment and the dress is a true work of art. The craftsmanship and hand-detailing are overwhelming. He was still stitching it on me moments before I walked down the aisle. Azzedine was a master because he understood the soul and the anatomy of women. I was lucky to have him as a constant presence throughout my entire career. I am forever grateful to mon papa.” — Stephanie Seymour, model

“Azzedine Alaïa believed that every woman should look and feel beautiful. And this belief was infused in every stitch of his being. His generosity goes beyond fashion. I will miss him, deeply.” — Ikram Goldman, owner of the Chicago boutique Ikram

“In my point of view, Azzedine was one of the most important designers in the world. Not just for the last 10 years. … I have too many memories, I could make two books about it. I considered him my best friend.” — Gilles Bensimon, photographer

“A long time ago, on a night when we were drinking, he told me, ‘When I am a ghost, my spirit will inhabit your body.’ And I responded, ‘But Monsieur Alaïa, I’m too small.’ We laughed and laughed. Now I regret not answering, ‘Yes, please.’ Regardless, he’s eternally in my heart. I didn’t know I could cry so many tears.” — Hideki Seo, Alaïa’s first assistant

“I am numb. I learned so much from Azzedine. And I thought he was indestructible. It’s a bit devastating to hear this news.” — Joe McKenna, a stylist who made a film about Alaïa last year

“I think Azzedine was completely uncompromising, which made his clothes so special and unique and loved by so many people. My favorite memory of him is sitting in his store with Grace Jones watching the video of the couture show — it doesn’t get much more glamorous than that. He also made my brown snakeskin wedding dress, and it was such an honor to fulfill a childhood dream of ‘Getting married in Azzedine.’” — Katie Grand, stylist and editor in chief of Love magazine

Others paid tribute on social media:

Vanessa Friedman is The Times’s fashion director and chief fashion critic. She was previously the fashion editor of the Financial Times. @VVFriedman

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