Today the fashion industry mourns designer Azzedine Alaïa, who died on Saturday at age 82 of a heart attack, the New York Times reports. Alaïa started out designing for French socialites and became known for dressing idols such as Grace Jones, creating some of her defining looks (like that magenta hood). More recently, he’s dressed Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Michelle Obama, and drew out Naomi Campbell for a runway appearance this year.
With sharp silhouettes, tight bustiers, wraparound cut-outs, and floor length robes, fashion critics tribute him as a sculptor of the female body, nicknamed the “King of Cling.” Vogue editor Hamish Bowles, in a reverent and personal obituary, calls him the “last great craftsman of fashion”: “no gimmicks, no vulgarity, no Instagrammable moments, just superb clothes superbly made, to flatter and enhance the women he loved.” The New York Times writes that he “dedicated his life to the belief that fashion was more than just garments; to him, they were as much an element in the empowerment of women and of a broader cultural conversation.” He was also known for swimming against the tides of fashion weeks which demanded new product on schedule. He was bold; he trashed Anna Wintour’s wardrobe and called Karl Lagerfeld a sell-out.
The fashion world is pouring out their tributes. For the rest of us, he is memorialized forever in Clueless.