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.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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