The much-loved fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa has died aged 77, it was reported yesterday.
The sad news was confirmed to WWD by his close friend Carla Sozzani, who revealed that the Tunisian-born design legend had died of a heart attack in Paris. Alaïa was affectionately nicknamed 'the King of Cling' due to the body-conscious style of his most famous figure-hugging designs. Having studied sculpture in his youth, the designer was particularly meticulous and exacting when it came to fit, an approach which gained him legions of famous fans, from Naomi Campbell (who affectionately referred to the designer as 'Papa') and Grace Jones to the Kardashian sisters.
After moving from his native Tunisia to Paris in the 1950s, he worked for Dior and Guy Laroche before carving out a niche for his own-name brand, which later became synonymous with the high-octane glamour of the '80s and early '90s. So ubiquitous was Alaïa's form-fitting aesthetic that he came to be name-checked by Clueless's Cher Horowitz as she attempts to rebuff an armed robber with the infamous line: 'That's an Alaïa!'
Famously, he had little time for the vagaries of the international fashion week circuit, instead choosing to play by his own rules and release collections on his own ad hoc schedule.
The biggest names in the worlds of fashion and entertainment were quick to pay their tributes when the news broke yesterday.
The designer, who has both worn Alaïa's dresses and cited him as an important influence, wrote: 'A sad day. Rest in peace @azzedinealaiaofficial... The world is a far less beautiful place today without you. You were a true master and one of my biggest inspirations.'
The singer shared an image of her and the designer sharing a happy moment at a private dinner. 'My dear Alaïa,' she wrote, 'you will love in forever. RIP.'
She went on to share images of herself wearing a dramatic archive Alaïa gown in red for the Grammys.
Kim shared a photo taken at a dress fitting by the master himself. 'Simply the best!' she wrote. 'No one like you! It was an honour to know you. You will be missed so greatly. Rest In Peace Mr Alaïa.'
Joining her sister in paying tribute, Kourtney shared a happy memory: 'It was such an honour to have spent the day with you, eat the delicious lunch you cooked for us, have you actually fit us for the night.'
The singer posted a handful of black and white snaps on Instagram of her and the designer, followed by a heartfelt message. 'I'll mourn forever the loss of my friend,' she wrote, adding: 'To say he was integral, important and influential to fashion is simply not enough. There was no one who did what he did. No one knew a woman's body like him.'