Don't look for Azzedine Alaia, the Tunisian-born Paris designer who is changing the shape of fashion, to start designing an American collection. He says he's had offers, but he doesn't think it would work.
The problem is money. Not that he couldn't make enough money, only that he doesn't care if he has money or not. "It is important for Americans to have a lot of money. I don't need money," he said before his successful fashion presentation at the Palladium in New York recently. "I can work for nothing if I feel like it. I don't need money."
Alaia certainly doesn't need money to buy clothes for himself. His personal uniform is a black Mao suit. "I put it on. I wash it. It is no problem," says Alaia, who last year wore his signature suit to the Elyse'e Palace for a reception with French President Mitterrand. "It travels well. I throw it in the suitcase with Pat-a -Pouf (his terrier) and it takes up no room. I wear it with a black cotton T-shirt in the summer, a black cashmere pullover in the winter."
Says Alaia, "It's the perfect suit. Even for women, if that is what they want to wear."