This time last year, Tunisia-born couturier Azzedine Alaïa passed of a heart attack at the age of 82. His passing left indelible shockwaves of loss across the fashion industry, and one year later, the legacy of his life beyond fashion is celebrated in the opening of La Librairie, a bookstore in his home on 18 rue de la Verrerie, Paris that flaunts Alaïa’s personal collection of rare art, fashion and photography volumes.
La Librairie is part-homage to Alaïa’s creative pursuits and part-conservatory to literary history. Most of the tomes in the store are one-of-a-kind, or extremely difficult to find. Alaïa took great pride in his collection, so fellow bibliophiles can trust that an afternoon in La Librairie feels like stepping into a treasure trove.
To further emphasise Alaïa’s love for printed media, a commemorative organisation, the Azzedine Alaïa Foundation, will also plan to continue publishing works related to the courtier’s life, with two volumes in the work for next year. These will naturally be sold at his namesake bookstore, so all the more reason to visit the city if you count yourself a fan.
Sharing the space with La Librairie is a café that was formerly his sister, Hafida’s small boutique, to be open in January of the next year.
There are many ways to immortalise fashion designers who have left us, from large-scale exhibitions to biopics, but the humble outpost that is La Librairie gives those that admire Alaïa a tangible way to experience and own a part of the designer’s life story.