Azzedine Alaïa, Gallerist
Besides crafting some of the world’s most sought-after dresses, Azzedine Alaïa (pictured) is an avid collector himself. That, as they say, is putting it mildly. The designer not only has his own personal art gallery—part of the store, atelier, and hotel complex he calls home in Paris’ Marais—he’s also in the process of creating a foundation for his genre-spanning collection, which includes everything from couture by Poiret, Vionnet, and Schiaparelli, to design by Marc Newson, to photography by Bruce Weber, Helmut Newton, Steven Meisel, and Horst P. Horst.
But last night chez Alaïa, the walls were covered with press photos, rather than his own holdings. Alaïa hosted the World Press Photo Awards, devoted to the world’s best photojournalism. The grand prize winner this year, an image from Pietro Masturzo’s series From the Rooftops of Tehran, of a woman screaming her disappointment from the roof of her house following the Iranian presidential election, put the host in a reflective mood. “I think this show is particularly important,” said Alaïa. “When I look at some of the poignant images here, it reminds me how privileged we are to be among friends. I thank the sky for that every day.” No word on whether he bought that photo to add to his private stock, or Malik Sidibé’s prizewinning shot (from the Arts & Entertainment category) of two men sporting Viktor & Rolf, Dries Van Noten, and Bottega Veneta (among other designers) from a fashion story in The New York Times Magazine.