PARIS — Azzedine Alaïa was laid to rest on Monday in Sidi Bou Said in his native Tunisia, where he had a secondary home, according to France’s ambassador to Tunisia Olivier Poivre d’Arvor.
The ambassador was among the guests at the intimate ceremony, an official at the French embassy in Tunisia said.
“He will be buried at his home in Sidi Bou Said tomorrow in line with his wishes,” Poivre d’Arvor said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
“His disappearance is a huge loss. But immortal as he is, thanks to his work, he will rest in modesty close to us, with a view from the land that saw his birth toward the Mediterranean and the country where he chose to live,” he added.
Also in attendance were Naomi Campbell and Farida Khelfa, who posted an image showing her alongside the supermodel with the caption: “Rest in Peace Azzedine ❤️.”
From Tunisia, Campbell posted a moving message alongside a picture showing her reclining on a couch, with Alaïa watching over her.
“Dear papa, I was blessed in my life to meet you and for your embrace at 16, so many wonderful memories of you through out our journey together. I got to experience what it was like to be around a Genius!!! You taught me and opened my eyes to so many things in life, and how to strive for perfection, as you were PERFECTION and UNIQUE and will always be,” she wrote.
“You did all the fatherly duties my unknown father should have. You ignited happiness to all whom were around you, from dancing in the kitchen to playing practical jokes. You protected me and loved me unconditionally.
“I’m eternally grateful to you the day you picked up the phone and called my mother to tell her you were taking me in. Papa until we meet again on the other side, I know you will continue to guide me, and always be in my heart. May you Rest In Peace,” she added, signing “I love you papa Ta Fille Naomi 💔🙏🏾.”
Poivre d’Arvor posted images showing him with the designer, his nephew Montassar Alaya and French publicist Claudine Colin in Tunis in July. In a separate post on Saturday, the diplomat wrote that they had started discussing a large-scale exhibition at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis.
“Azzedine had said yes. Yes to showing his work, for the first time, to sharing his work with his people, his dear Tunisians. A big exhibition at the Bardo, catwalk shows, conferences…I interpret Azzedine’s agreement as a wish we must honor. We will do so, I am committed to it. In the coming months,” he said.
A prominent writer and organizer of cultural events, Poivre d’Arvor has held the ambassador’s post since September 2016.
Born to wheat-farming parents, Alaïa had lived in France since the late Fifties.
His unexpected death of heart failure has sent the fashion community into mourning. A spokesperson for Compagnie Financière Richemont, which owns the Alaïa label, declined to comment on Saturday on the group’s future plans for the house, which was set to open its first London flagship in the next few months.