Who will vintage hounds covet in 2003? Look at all the short, skintight minis on the spring runways for the answer. "It’s all very Alaïa," insists Cameron Silver, who as vintage guru holds court to many brand-name designers and bold-faced collectors at his Melrose Avenue shop Decades.

The Paris designer known as the King of Cling certainly seems primed. In 2002, Azzedine Alaïa collaborated on eyewear with Alain Mikili, had a fragrance in the works and expanded his footwear line with the aid of parent Prada Group.

"You know it’s an Alaïa moment when the women who wore his stuff 20 years ago do not want to give it up now," continued Silver, adding that it’s becoming increasingly challenging to find any castoffs. "Those classic jersey pieces with the beautiful seamwork, they’re a little architectural looking — that’s the Alaïa look that will have the same importance to a collector as a Kelly bag. It’s that iconic piece."

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