Azzedine Alaïa AROMA

PARIS, France — One of the industry’s most beloved creative minds, Azzedine Alaïa’s legacy as both an unparalleled couturier and an independent force willing to buck the fashion system is without question.

Adiós a Azzedine Alaïa, el último gran ‘couturier’

Retrato de Azzedine Alaïa junto a Elle McPherson, realizado por el fotógrafo Guilles Bensimon en 1986.

Alaïa, who passed away early Saturday morning, opened his first atelier for private clients in his Rue de Bellechasse apartment in the late 1970s. He debuted his first ready-to-wear collection in 1980. Over the course of the next decade, his business and profile grew: he expanded his operation in Paris and opened boutiques in America. After Prada invested in the business in 2000, his accessories line boomed. He eventually bought the company back before entering into an agreement in 2007 with luxury conglomerate Richemont, which owns a significant stake in the business.

It’s exceptional for someone to exist outside of fashion’s system and be so successful and beloved. Like a true artist he followed his instinct and simply did what he loved.