The Tunisian-born French fashion genius Azzedine Alaïa is one of the most admired and worshipped contemporary fashion designers - a cult name and a living legend. His designs are like a second skin, perpetually defying all our preconceptions of the human body and material. A true fashion architect and a confirmed perfectionist, he knows/feels woman, her body and essence, as precisely as a great violinist does his instrument. In the world of fashion, Azzedine Alaïa enjoys the status of an independent genius, choosing not to follow the season's trends, constantly perfecting and interpreting the 'golden canon' of his own style, which includes his dresses that are simultaneously a second skin and a work of art. Each of the garments designed by Azzedine Alaïa looks as it it was created for its owner. In a way, Azzedine Alaïa is the Greta Garbo of the fashion world (incidentally, the famous recluse is said to have visited the designer's salon), preferring to stay in the shadow and avoid the glare of the spotlight. An aesthete to the smallest detail, Azzedine Alaïa fiercely guards his own privacy. He counts all of the most glamorous supermodels of their time among his avid fans; even at the height of their fame, most of them have been only too happy to work for Alaïa for free. The designer's only Parisian store is located in the district of Marais, the former Jewish Quarter, far from the great boulevards. Without a conspicuous sign above the door, the shop is more reminiscent of an art gallery. You also won't have to look far for the designer's showroom that features frequently changed fashion exhibitions and, since 2004, Azzedine Alaïa 3 Rooms, a small three-apartment hotel opened in association with Milan's legendary 10 Corso Como. What many people may not know, however, is that there also exists a tiny store under the name of Azzedine Alaïa Stock which sells clothes and accessories from the designer's previous years' collections at a discount of 50 - 70 %: look for the shop just a few dozen steps further, in a yard across the corner, hidden behind a suitably inconspicuous door. Incidentally, the changing room is almost as big as the shop itself and features not only a mirror but also a sink - but then we would not expect anything less from a perfectionist of this calibre. Anyway, whatever you buy here, consider it an investment for life: the design of Azzedine Alaïa exist outside time and space, it is perfect in its self-sufficiency and, at the same time, brilliant in its dialogue with the owner of the garment.
18 rue de la Verrerie
Keywords: Paris, vintage, shop