When I was growing up, my sister and I would play intricate, complex games with our large collection of magazine cut outs. Alaia's form fitting dresses and tiny smiling face were images we came across often. One could even reasonably say he helped formed our views of sexiness. Always fiercely independent, Alaia is hands-on in every step of the creative process and does all the pattern-making, cutting, fittings and pressing himself. While his contributions to style on one hand may seem dated and reprehensible (he's responsible for the body suit and lycra shorts) there's no doubt that his seductive, clingy, zipper creations have had a lasting impact on his fans and his successors. After practically vanishing from the scene, he is still inspiring and making clothes for a select clientele including Victoria Beckham and Carine Roitfeld.