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The passing of Azzedine Alaïa shook the fashion world, but few in the industry were impacted as much as Naomi Campbell. The model – who often referred to the designer as her “father” – has even credited him for her career success. They met in the late 1980s, when Campbell was just 16 and Alaïa was 47. Despite the age difference and the language barrier (she couldn’t speak French), their connection was instant and led to a friendship that spanned decades. In fact, how they met is just as astounding as their relationship.
The model had just started working in Paris when she was robbed and ended up joining a friend for dinner, just so she had something to eat. The friend in question was doing a show with Alaïa and, after the three of them were done dining, the designer gifted Campbell a dress. She become his friend and muse soon after that chance encounter – she even had her own room in his Parisian apartment! The designer passed away last year on November 18th and, nearly one year since his passing, Campbell still mourns the loss, as evidenced by her touching post on Instagram.