Azzedine Alaia has been sounding off lately about the industry, and the Tunisian legend doesn’t pull any punches in his latest Q&A with 320c magazine. Here’s a bit of what he said via Business of Fashion:
Monsieur Alaïa — fashion today, what is it like?
I can only speak for myself, but for a long time now the system of fashion has had nothing to do with our time — it doesn’t suit our time at all. The world is changing rapidly. We see the proof of change every day in the news. Young people want change in this industry, too, yet we continue, just like in the 19th century, to do défilés. There is no need – no interest, really. We could do fewer collections and obtain the same results. We don’t lose any money if we do less.
Is money really the only concern?
Creativity should be the only concern. But today there is no time for creativity; nobody has time to develop a special silhouette or a special fabric. Of course there are a few exceptions, like what Nicolas Ghesquière does at Balenciaga, or Alber Elbaz at Lanvin. But designers working for big houses like Dior or Vuitton have no time to reflect. We can’t just squeeze the young talents out like lemons and then throw them away. Four collections for women, four collections for men, another four collections to sell, and everything needs do be done within four-five months — it’s a one-way course towards emptiness. It’s inhuman.