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Alaïa

Founded by the elusive and talented couturier in the 1970s, this high-end fashion brand was acquired by Richemont in 2007.

Vital statistics

  • 1985 Established
  • Public Type
  • 51 - 200 Number of employees
  • €13.2 million (2006) Revenue
  • Paris, France HQ
  • Richemont Parent Group

Company Snapshot

Company Snapshot

Azzedine Alaïa is a Tunisian-born couturier and shoe designer, particularly successful since the 1980s. In Paris, he started to work at Christian Dior as a tailleur, but soon moved to work for Guy Laroche for two seasons, then for Thierry Mugler until he opened his first atelier in his little rue de Bellechasse apartment the late 1970s. It is in this tiny atelier that for almost 20 years he dressed privately the world's jet set.

He produced his first ready-to-wear collection in 1980 and moved to larger premises on rue du Parc-Royal in the Marais district. In 1980, while interior designer Andrée Putman was walking down Madison Avenue with one of the first Alaïa leather coats, she was stopped by a Bergdorf Goodman buyer who asked her what she was wearing, which began a turn of events that lead to his designs being sold in New York and in Beverly Hills. By 1988 he had opened his own boutiques in these two cities and in Paris.

He then signed a partnership with the Prada group in 2000. Working with Prada saw him through a second impressive renaissance, and in July 2007, he successfully bought back his house and brand name from the Prada group, though his footwear and leather goods division continues to be developed and produced by the group. In 2007 the Richemont group, which owns Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, took a stake in his fashion house but he still does not show during the collections.

Source: Company website

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