Maison Alaïa was founded in Paris in 1964 by Tunisian designer Azzedine Alaïa, with the immediately clear aim of celebrating the power of femininity and the timelessness of beauty. Azzedine’s cultural background combines fashion and other artistic fields: it’s only after studying sculpture at the School of Fine Arts in Tunisi that the couturier moves to Paris, where he gets to work with some of the biggest names of that period, from Christian Dior (directed by Yves Saint Laurent at the time) to Thierry Mugler.

In the Seventies he opens his first atelier in the small apartment of Rue de Bellechasse, where he creates gowns for the Parisian high society and stage costumes for opera and ballet. In 1980, after becoming popular among the Parisian élite, he debutes with his first collection. Since the beginning Alaïa stands out for his groundbreaking silhouettes: tight waist and accentuated bust become the strong points of the Maison, so much that Azzedine earns the name of “King of Cling”. Fabrics become stretchy and shape themselves around the body, constructions become elaborated and the style revolutionary: internationally acclaimed, in the Eighties Azzedine Alaïa becomes one of the most loved couturiers in the world.

At this time, his customers include famous names such as those of Madonna and Tina Turner, Naomi Campbell (his muse from the very beginning) and Stephanie Seymour. However, Azzedine Alaïa has a strongly independent temper, that leads him to perceive as strict and oppressive the rules of fashion world, that imposes tight deadlines and hectic pace: that’s why he decides to step back from this system, starting to have his fashion shows outside the calendar and distancing himself from the spotlight.

An up-and-down time begins for the Maison, culminating in 2007 with the acquisition from the Richemont group. In 2017 Azzedine Alaïa dies and in 2021 Pieter Mulier is nominated as the new creative director of the Maison. Mulier shares the same passions for the arts that Azzedine Alaïa had and his same impeccable technique: his work focuses especially on the heritage of the Maison, on fabrics and cuts, on the pureness of the lines and on the constructions. Still today, therefore, that search for perfection – so dear to Azzedine Alaïa – continues, putting at the center of the work women and their femininity.



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