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Azzedine Alaïa’s place in the design hall of fame is guaranteed – his signature bodycon dresses and laser-cut accessories offer an understated elegance that challenges the boundaries of flesh and fabric, earning him the reputation the “King of Cling”. Alaïa was born in Tunisia in the 40s to wheat-farming parents. A French friend of his mother’s fed Alaïa’s instinctive creativity with copies of Vogue and lied about his age to get him into the local Ecole des Beaux-Arts to study sculpture. He went on to work for Christian Dior in Paris, but only managed five days before being fired. Eventually, in the late seventies, fashion editors tuned into Alaïa’s modern elegance. He made his name designing intricate, couture-in-detail dresses that flattered absolutely every woman who wore them. Worldwide success followed with exhibitions, awards, bespoke stores, supermodel disciples and the power to command an audience outside of the catwalk schedule: Alaïa shows when he wants to regardless of the round of timetabled international fashion weeks, and editors never miss it.


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