Azzedine Alaïa: Popular Tunisian couturier dies aged 77

French-Tunisian couturier Azzedine Alaia at the press preview of one of his exhibitions at the Galleria Borghese in Rome Image copyright Getty Images

The celebrated Tunisian fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa has died at the age of 77, French media report.

Alaïa, whose close-fitting designs awarded him the nickname “king of cling”, gained notoriety for his work in the 1980s.

He became popular among celebrities including the British model Naomi Campbell and US singer Lady Gaga, with clients ranging from Greta Garbo to Michelle Obama.

Alaïa was known for his uncompromising attitude to exhibit his designs to his own schedule and was uninterested in the publicity of fashion weeks.

Tributes were being paid to the couturier on social media on Saturday.

“We have lost a designer of great talent. It is very sad news,” fellow fashion designer Pierre Cardin told AFP news agency.

US singer Rihanna arrives at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles in a dress designed by Azzedine Alaïa, 10 February 2013 Image copyright Getty Images
Singer Lady Gaga attends the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, 22 February 2015 Image copyright Getty Images
Former US President Barack Obama and Former First Lady Michelle Obama arrive at the opening of the Nato summit at the Kurhaus in Germany, 3 April 2009 Image copyright Getty Images

Alaïa, who was born in 1940, trained as a sculptor in his native Tunisia and remained fascinated by the human form throughout his career.

He moved to Paris in the late 1950s, working briefly for Christian Dior and Guy Laroche before becoming an independent couturier.

A creation by Tunisian-born, Paris-based couturier Azzedine Alaia is displayed during the press preview of the exhibition "Azzedine Alaia's soft sculpture" at the Galleria Borghese in Rome, 10 July 2015 Image copyright Getty Images
A visitor looks at fashion designed by designer Azzedine Alaia at the Museum NRW-Forum in Duesseldorf, western Germany, 11 June 2013 Image copyright Getty Images

Pictures by Getty Images

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