Azzedine Alaïa was a Tunisian designer, particularly successful in the 1980s. By 1988, he opened his own boutiques in New York City, Beverly Hills and Paris. His seductive, clinging clothes were a massive success and he was named by the media 'The King of Cling‘. Devotees included among others Grace Jones, Madonna and Tina Turner.
After Tina bought some clothes in L.A, she called Azzedine while she was in Paris and asked to meet him. Both became friends and Azzedine designed some of Tina’s most memorable stage outfits, including the dress Tina wore at the iconic photo shooting at the Eiffel Tower with Peter Lindbergh, used for the cover of the Foreign Affair single.
When Tina Turner scaled the Eiffel Tower in 1989, she clasped the side with one hand and smirked into the barrel of Peter Lindbergh’s camera. She looked like a superhuman – legs astride and body-bound in a high-slit Azzedine Alaïa mini dress. Peter told her she could put the heels on after she had climbed the tower, but she just replied, ‘You must be kidding.’ The relationship between Alaïa and Lindbergh was the stuff of fashion folklore, a cauldron of adrenaline and glitz and stretch fabrics that came to a crackle when Turner stepped into the frame. Her ferocious presence – all leather and lace and short, short dresses – codified what it meant to be a modern pop star.
In 1988, Tina closed Alaïa’s autumn collection alongside Farida Khelfa in Paris with a long jet-black velvet dress. On June 28, 1990, Tina dedicated her performance of I Don’t Wanna Lose You at the Palace of Versailles in France to her friend, when she told the crowd: „I’m gonna do this one for my boyfriend. I call him Azzedine.“
In 2021, Tina was prominently represented in the Azzedine Alaïa / Peter Lindbergh exhibition at the Alaïa Foundation in Paris with many photos as well as some clothes designed especially for her.
„They’re special clothes, they’re unlike anyone else’s. You have to try it on sometimes just to get the feel of it, you get an attitude with his clothes. You become very French.“