You really have to admire Azzedine Alaia. Not only is he a great designer, he turned down one of the most coveted jobs in fashion (can you blame him?), and did not mince words when speaking about two of fashion’s biggest figures: Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour.
On Karl Lagerfeld:
“Happily, women love me and buy my clothes, unlike Karl who’s never been loved like me! [Laughs.] . . . I don’t like his fashion, his spirit, his attitude. It’s too much caricature. Karl Lagerfeld never touched a pair of scissors in his life. That doesn’t mean that he’s not great, but he’s part of another system. He has capacity. One day he does photography, the next he does advertisements for Coca-Cola. I would rather die than see my face in a car advertisement. We don’t do the same work. And I think that he is not doing a favor to young [designers] who might think it works that way. They’re going to fall before they retire.”
On Anna Wintour:
“I said it before. She runs the business [of Vogue] very well, but not the fashion part. When I see how she is dressed, I don’t believe in her tastes one second. I can say it loudly! She hasn’t photographed my work in years even if I am a best seller in the US and I have 140 square meters at Barneys. American women love me; I don’t need her support at all. Anna Wintour doesn’t deal with pictures; she is just doing PR and business, and she scares everybody. But when she sees me, she is the scared one. [Laughs.] Other people think like me, but don’t say it because they are afraid that Vogue won’t photograph them. Anyway, who will remember Anna Wintour in the history of fashion? No one. Take Diana Vreeland, she is remembered because she was so chic. What she did with the magazine was great, with Avedon and all the great photographers. Vogue remains while its fashion editors come and go.”
Alia will present his new collection at Paris Haute Couture Fashion week, July 4 to 8 2011.