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In the late 70�s Azzedine Alaia opened his first atelier in his tiny rue de Bellechase apartment. By 1980 he had produced his first ready-to-wear collection, moved to larger premises in rue du Parc-Royal in the Marais.

In 1983 he stared selling his designs in New York and in Beverly Hills and by 1988 boutiques opened in Beverly Hills, New York, and Paris.

In the mid-1990s, Alaia virtually vanished from the fashion scene, but continued to cater for a private clientele and to enjoy commercial success in his ready-to-wear lines, presenting his collections in his own space, in the heart of le Marais, where he brought his creative workshop, boutique and showroom all under one roof.

He then signed a partnership with the Prada group in 2000, the same year as his solo exhibition at the Guggenheim in New York, which initially had been launched and curated at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands by Mark Wilson and Jim Cook in 1997. Working with Prada has seen him through a second impressive renaissance, and in July 2007 he successfully bought back his house and brand name from the Prada group, though his footwear and leather goods division continues to be developed and produced by the group.

The Look

His designs were generally made from black or dark solid colours, and his dresses were tight, showing off every curve. Many feature a deeply scooped back.

Who Wears It

Madonna, Tina Turner, Gwen Stefani, LeAnn Rimes, Heidi Klum, Mariah Carey, Victoria Beckham, Ashley Olsens, Naomi Campbell, Katie Holmes, Vanessa Traina, Julia Roberts, Jada Pinkett Smith, Stephanie Seymour, Katherine Heigl, Cameron Diaz, and Naomi Campbell, Raquel Welch, Brigitte Nielsen, Carine Roitfeld, Carla Sozzani

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