PARIS — Azzedine Alaïa, who toils away at his Rue de Moussy headquarters in the Marais district, is spreading his wings further in Paris.
This fall, a retrospective exhibition of his designs to mark the reopening of the Musée Galliera will spread to a second site, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, including its famous Salle Matisse, the designer told WWD.
The modern art museum is located roughly across the street from the Galliera, which has been closed for renovation for several years.
Alaïa said the sprawling exhibition, curated by Olivier Saillard, is to showcase as many as 100 dresses, all culled from his personal archive. Precise opening dates and other details of the showcase have yet to be finalized, but it is sure to be a headline event on the fall cultural calendar.
In October, Alaïa plans to open a flagship at 5 Rue de Marignan. He said the main floor would be dedicated to accessories and shoes, with ready-to-wear showcased over two upper floors.
The 18th-century townhouse, a stone’s throw from the tony tree-lined avenue that is home to designer stores including Christian Dior, Nina Ricci, Prada, Valentino, Chanel and Fendi, will also house administration and accounting functions.
“It’s going to become the second Avenue Montaigne,” Alaïa predicted of the Rue de Marignan, which runs roughly parallel with the premier luxury strip, emanating from between the fashion canteen L’Avenue and the Céline boutique, which is moving to the Avenue Montaigne and will replaced by Dior Homme.
Alaïa praised the environs as one of true luxury. Indeed, the Avenue Montaigne boasts new flagships for Chanel, Saint Laurent and Fendi, slated to open during couture week.
Alaïa has tapped many of his design and artist buddies — including Marc Newson, Martin Szekely and Kris Ruhs — to create lighting and furniture for the imposing store.
He said he would keep his historic Paris retail location at 7 Rue de Moussy, which has no window display and buzzes in shoppers and couture clients.
During an interview in his sprawling kitchen, a pony-sized St. Bernard dog sprawled at his feet, Alaïa said he’s already at work on his first signature perfume, having inked a 13-year fragrance and cosmetics license with Beauté Prestige International. The first Alaïa fragrance is expected to hit the market in 2015.
The brand, long prized by specialty stores for its strong sell-through, has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years, making him a go-to designer for models, art dealers and fashion professionals.
Naomi Campbell, among his inner circle, was recently in town shooting an editorial with photographer Dominique Issermann, the designer related.
While owned since 2007 by luxury group Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, parent of Cartier, Chloé, Dunhill and other brands, Alaïa retains a fiercely independent spirit.
Mello said Martha “Marty” Wikstrom — who resigned her role as chief executive officer of Richemont Fashion and Accessories, a role she had been in since 2009 — had “launched Azzedine Alaïa in the U.S. and really built the brand internationally.”
Alaïa said Wikstrom “launched nothing and built nothing” for him, noting that his brand has been present in America since the early Eighties, when he staged fashion shows at Bergdorf Goodman and the Palladium nightclub.
He added that the U.S. remains his largest market, and he has partnered for years with retailers including Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Maxfield and Ikram.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)