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Azzedine Alaia is one of the greatest designers still working today—and, unlike other designers who spend a great deal of time and energy on PR stunts and marketing campaigns, he doesn't attribute his wild successes to bells, whistles, and public posturing. Instead, what's won Alaia a legion of loyal fans is the precision of his cut, his consistent, unique vision, point of view, and near-perfect execution.
In the past week, Alaia has been in the media eye more than usual—first with the FT story that confirmed Alaia turned down the job at Dior and, today, with an interview in Virgine magazine wherein he totally, no-holds-barred, smacks down Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour.
Check out the excerpts from the interview, after the jump, wherein Alaia says Lagerfeld is doing a disservice to young designers by appearing car commercials—"He's part of another system," Alaia says—and questions: "Who will remember Anna Wintour in the history of fashion? No one."
On Karl Lagerfeld:
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 stylists 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 (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 U.S. 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.· Azzedine Alaia interview [Virgine magazine]