The iconic couture designer Azzedine Alaia has died.
The Tunisian-born couturier died in Paris from a heart attack on Saturday, according the New York Times. Best known for his elaborate, feminine and elegant designs, Alaia has dressed former first lady Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Naomi Campbell, Mariah Carey and many other fashion icons.
Hailed as “The King of Cling,” his fist collection was released in 1980. Over the last three decades, Alaia created exquisite pieces worn by Hollywood royalty on various photo shoots and red carpets. Admired for his detailed designs and work ethic, Alaia was honoured with a solo exhibition at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands in 1998.
Alaia was born in Tunis, Tunisia and was known to play coy about his age. According to reports he was born between 1935 and 1940.
Upon hearing the news of his death, celebrities wrote heartfelt tributes to the iconic designer.
“I’ll mourn forever the loss of my friend. A true genius in not only fashion but in his heart. He was a king and had the highest standards of design and work ethic,” Lady Gaga wrote on Instagram. “He was so giving, so loving, his heart so full and pure. I’d watch in awe as he handmade each and every piece, his fingers touching the fabric like poetry. Then he would want to feed us all, and cook with his own hands and talk for hours at the table while his dogs would run around joyfully smelling the delicious food he made us.”
I’ll mourn forever the loss of my friend. A true genius in not only fashion but in his heart. He was a king and had the highest standards of design and work ethic. He was so giving, so loving, his heart so full and pure. I️’d watch in awe as he hand made each and every piece, his fingers touching the fabric like poetry. Then he would want to feed us all, and cook with his own hands and talk for hours at the table while his dogs would run around joyfully smelling the delicious food he made us. To say he was special would be an understatement. To say he was integral, important and influential to fashion is simply not enough. There was no one who did what he did. No one knew a woman’s body like him. He should be celebrated as one of the greatest fashion designers the world has ever known. I️ love you, Azzedine. I️’m devastated I️ didn’t get to say goodbye. I️ love you.
Kim and Kourtney Kardashian also expressed their condolences on social media. “Simply the best! No one like you! It was an honour to know you. You will be missed so greatly! Rest In Peace Mr. Alaia,” Kim wrote.
Madonna and Mariah Carey also shared touching tributes about working with Alaia.
See how other celebs remembered the designer below.
So sad to wake up to the tragic news that #AzzedineAlaia passed away. Besides being a creative genius, he was one of the sweetest people I have ever met. The way he dressed a woman’s body was such a revelation to me as a young model in Chicago because his designs embraced my curves. One of the very first designer pieces I ever bought myself was one of his famous body suits with a skin tight skirt to match in a gold knit fabric from Ultimo in Chicago. Worn with an Alaia belt cinching in my waist, I felt like a million dollars. What an honor it was to model for him only a few years later in Paris at his atelier. He made all of his models feel beautiful and the fashion world will never forget him. 💔
My beloved friend Azzedine Alaia taught me he'd always wake up excited about what he would learn and who he would meet. In the many years that I knew him, his wonderment of life was contagious and inspiring. My friend wherever you are you will continue your journey with the same unstoppable spirit that touched with magic all of us who had the privilege of meeting you. You will live forever in our hearts. Mi gran amigo Azzedine Alaia. Me enseñó que cada día se levantaba de que iba aprender y a quién iba a conocer. En los años que lo conocí, su admiración por la vida era contagiosa y inspiradora. Amigo mío donde quiera que estés continuarás tu camino con el mismo espíritu imparable que nos tocó con magia a todos los que tuvimos el privilegio de conocerte. Vivirás por siempre en nuestros carazones #Azzedinealaia #fashion #friend #Inspiration
“It’s important to make women feel confident, because I think they are more important then men.” …Azzedine Alaia. 🙏🏻💔 This is only one of the many brilliant quotes from one of most brilliant designers of our time. I will always remember him surrounded by beautiful, strong extraordinary women. A true master of fashion that stood out from the rest, Azzedine Alaia will continue to inspire so many artists and designers forever. #welostagreatone #RIP💔 XoRZ
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