‘The road less traveled’-Azzedine Alaïa’s biggest legacy is a lesson on individual creativity.


Azzedine Alaïa, the Tunisian-French designer who passed away last Friday was a quiet yet prominent figure in the fashion industry and he will be remembered as a great couturier and a great friend to many.His dinners were legendary and a privilege both for famous and unknown-being invited was a sign you had his stamp of approval-and that meant a lot.Still,i think,the greatest privilege of all was to observe him working,tirelessly reconstructing the pattern of a dress to make it more sophisticated to the point of perfection.

As the weekend passed,though,i could not but think that Alaia’s biggest legacy isn’t his iconic creative force but rather how he chose to dispose of his creativity -in his own pace.Carving his very personal space in the fashion industry he insisted on not following the official fashion week schedule when it didn’t suit him,reschedule meetings and take his time in completing each collection,even when ‘time’ meant years. His perception of the fashion designer was not only of the ‘couturier’ but of the couturier as an artist- his creative expression would come first,in his own time and the fashion industry should comply to that.And,most often,it did.

Alaia’s personal path in fashion is the celebration of the individual creative force and the strong belief that only when free can produce small miracles, a strong voice advocating that fashion designers are and should be treated as artists.Not that it was easy,though.It took an iron force will and a strong commitment to his work to make personal and professional sacrifices,sacrifices that would cost him.Still he insisted on being perceived in his own terms.It was for his strong celebration of the individual creative force that will be most remembered,for his very own personal road.The road less traveled.





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