Be yourself. Be different.

Nov 19, 2018

Binge reading online leads you from article to another... and it is so that interesting tributes to Azzedine Alaïa surfaced on the first anniversary of his death on November 18, 2018. The Tunisian born French couturier was revered by many as a purist in the fashion world and never driven by a fad.

Catherine Lardeur, the former editor-in-chief of French Marie-Claire in the 1980s, who helped launch many fashion careers, stated in an interview to Crowd Magazine that "Fashion is dead. Designers nowadays do not create anything, they only make clothes so people and the press would talk about them. The real money for designers lie within perfumes and handbags. It is all about image. Alaïa remains the king. He is smart enough to not only care about having people talk about him. He only holds fashion shows when he has something to show, on his own time frame. Even when Prada owned him he remained free and did what he wanted to do."

The point is that Alaïa was a monumental success, dressing some of the most famous women in the world including Marion Cotillard, Michelle Obama, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Carla Bruni and many others, not to mention being the recipient of many prestigious awards. And all this without falling into the trap of commercializing his fashion. He remained true to his vision and ethic, doing things his way yet without being controversial.

This refreshing approach, in this case in the world of fashion, can only be appreciated. One can only stand out from the crowd when he/she doesn’t showcase their collection when everyone else does, during a Fashion Week or Couture Week. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with abiding by standards. This is to say that you can go just as far, if not further, when you don’t.

Alaïa’s success is not only due to the fact that he was different. The man had talent. He probably also had some luck. He had the support of influential people. Add to that his reluctance to fit into a mould, and bam you have a man that changed the face of fashion.

Therefore, affirming your presence and your vision can be the drivers behind a winning brand. When you’re interesting and different (and as long as you’re not sacrificing quality), you’re like a magnet, people will be drawn to you.

So if it is your will, go ahead: embrace your vision. Be yourself. Be different.