Short essay on the extraordinary Azzedine Alaïa


Azzedine Alaïa had a particular path full of wonderful meetings and particular experiences that gave him an extraordinary sensibility to the world. His story is full of persons and details that influenced him a lot. From his maternal grand parents, and Madame Pineau in Tunis, to the Comtesse de Blégiers and Madame Simone Zehrfuss in Paris who introduced him to the best artists of those times. Azzedine Alaïa gets in touch with a flow of different characters that affect his life and work forever.

After a few years in Paris, he built an incredible social network in which personalities and artists of all kinds meet and interfere.

Azzedine Alaïa is a singular art and life lover.


He has a great culture of literature and History of Arts, which he doesn’t like bringing to light with a respectable unpretentiousness. He owns amazing collections of books, haute couture garments and art pieces.

From the year 1987, he decides to go against the dictates of the regular fashion calendar. Anyway, his work is not about a collection or a season, neither about create a story, because according to him “everything is in the materials”. Azzedine Alaïa loves breaking the established codes, taking inspirations from every little thing that surrounds him or catches his attention and reflection.

His work is at the same time modern and timeless, personal and neutral, as if each garment he creates was a masterpiece.


He plays with time in a very original way, inventing new configurations. It’s about a long-term history on both intercultural and multidisciplinary sides.

Art, Creative director, fashion

Azzedine Alaïa is a “passeur”, according to the definition that gives Jerzy Kosinsky; somebody who creates bridges, who understands and explains how crossbreeding happen and identify its mechanism. Alaïa goes through every cultures, periods and genres, for him borders don’t exist and everything is about crossing and mixing.

He drew the most entire and complete vision, the most complex and global definition of the contemporary culture.