PARIS — The next guest designer at Azzaro could be you.
New to the Paris house’s Web site this month, as well as its Faubourg Saint-Honoré flagship and Net-a-porter.com, is the Azzaro Couture service proposing 12 “star” dresses for customers to personalize at will. There are styles from its latest collection, plus iconic frocks such as the “Three Rings” dress by founder Loris Azzaro.
The new concept allows customers to pick and mix the ingredients of their dress — which comes delivered with a personalized satin label plus a sketch — using a range of exclusive fabrics, colors and embroideries. It’s a new direction for a house whose designer, Vanessa Seward, recently concocted glitzy guest designer hook-ups with Jemima Khan and Eugenie Niarchos.
Nathalie Franson, Azzaro’s chief executive, said she believes the service will appeal to customers seeking unique designs that reflect their personal wishes.
“High-end customers want exclusivity and rarity today — they want to know that a design is made only for them,” she said. “The [elements] are created exclusively to ensure no one else [will have] the identical dress.”
She noted customers can toy with between eight and 24 possible variations, depending on the style.
Delivery for the custom-made dresses, which retail from 4,000 to 15,000 euros (or about $5,700 to $21,300 at current exchange rates), takes from four to six weeks. In an era of overnight deliveries, customers who have an appreciation for craftsmanship will be prepared to wait, Franson asserted.
Paris atelier Cécile Henry, for instance, is charged with the embroidery. “The dresses [clients] will create for themselves are for very special occasions. They are not daywear pieces which one would purchase on a whim,” said Franson. “It takes time to maintain the highest standards.”
An Azzaro Couture dress costs up to 30 percent more than the house’s off-the-rack styles.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast