It’s been three years since Azzedine Alaïa passed away, but the Tunisian designer left behind a prodigious legacy that continues to carry on. Thankfully, his studio team has remained intact, successfully releasing nine collections since then. But it looks like it’s finally time to pass over the baton. As of this week, the fashion house has found itself a new creative director.
Pieter Mulier will be taking on the reins of Alaïa. The Belgian designer was previously the Global Creative Director at Calvin Klein until 2018 alongside his long-time mentor Raf Simons.
Rather than following Simons onto Prada, Mulier found a new home at Maison Alaïa.
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“Always ahead of his time and open to all arts and cultures, Azzedine Alaïa’s powerful vision has served as an inspiration, as he always sought to give the necessary time to innovative and enduring creation,” he said in a statement.
“It is with this tremendous sense of admiration and responsibility that I will seek to carry forward his legacy of celebrating femininity and placing women at the heart of creation,” he continued.
Mulier will be following in the legacy of one of fashion’s most influential designers. Alaïa revolutionized the industry with his timeless second-skin dresses. A figurehead behind the ‘supermodel era’, a lifetime friend with fashion icons Franca Sozzani and Farida Khelfa, Alaïa is undeniably considered one of the world’s greatest designers. Needless to say, Mulier has big shoes to fill. But with a two-decade long career under his belt, we’re looking forward to what’s in store for the fashion house.
Mulier’s first steps in fashion began at Raf Simons in 2002. Although he wasn’t trained in fashion (he studied architecture at the Institut Saint-Luc in Brussels), Mulier quickly rose in the ranks, becoming the brand’s head designer after just one year.
That was just the beginning of his longtime relationship with Simons, ultimately leading him to become a consultant at Jil Sander when Simons took over as creative director in 2006. Mulier then joined the Milan-based fashion house full-time until Simons left in 2012. Mulier followed suit and both Belgian designers ended up at Christian Dior with Mulier taking on the title of Design Director.
His time there was highlighted in the 2014 Dior and I documentary which follows the making of Simons’ first collection for the French fashion house. His fun and sociable attitude was quick to notice as he developed a close relationship with the haute couture atelier team, as well as his attention to detail and craftsmanship.
“Pieter stands out with remarkable technical talent and devotion to the craft, a sharp eye for construction and a sense of timeless beauty that is deeply ingrained in the creative approach of our Maison,” said CEO of Maison Alaïa, Myriam Serrano
His experience at Dior will surely prove helpful as he takes on Alaïa’s enormous couture heritage. We are to expect a nod to the brand’s signature use of leather, godet inserts and metal eyelets, as well as hopefully the sculpted body-hugging silhouettes. As for Mulier’s long-time expertise in menswear, could he finally give Maison Alaïa its menswear debut? Only time will tell.
What’s certain is that his first collection will be unveiled during the Spring/Summer of 2022, as announced by the brand. In line with Alaïa’s belief that a collection should be shown only once it is ready, an exact date for the reveal of Mulier’s debut has yet to be announced.
Main image: Portrait of Pieter Mulier by Pierre Debusschere