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Alaïa goes lo-fi with high-profile talent Kaia Gerber for ‘winter/spring 2023’

January 12, 2023

The drop represents a full-circle moment for model and house, in more ways than one. Image credit: The drop represents a full-circle moment for both the model and the house, in more ways than one. Image credit: Alaïa


As French couture house Alaïa leans into legacy with an intimately referential exercise, the fashion house exhibits a willingness to experiment with contemporary concepts.

Bending house classics into novel forms, the brand links with Kaia Gerber, who serves as the face of the house’s remixed “winter/spring 2023” season. As conglomerates brace for tough market conditions and competition in 2023, Richemont is betting on one of its biggest brands — Alaïa's most recent round of creative serves as evidence.

“This campaign feels in line with their brand voice and brand visual,” said Dalia Strum, founder of ReThink Connect and professor at The Fashion Institute of Technology, New York.

“However, the fact that Kaia Gerber is Cindy Crawford's daughter is what creates a stronger connection to this campaign,” Ms. Sturm said. “It is the nostalgic feeling of 'like mother, like daughter' that follows some recent press over Kaia attending Hollywood's 2nd Annual Academy Museum Gala in an Alaïa outfit, where the press compared the uncanny resemblance to her mother, Cindy Crawford.”

Ms. Strum is not affiliated with Alaïa, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Kaia x Alaïa
Lo-fi production and a strategic talent choice center Alaïa’s latest campaign.

The drop represents a full-circle moment in many ways.


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A post shared by ALAÏA (@maisonalaia)

Ms. Gerber’s mother — supermodel Cindy Crawford — was a muse of house founder Azzedine Alaïa in her heyday, starring across many brand presentations and high-fashion runaways herself.

“Alaïa was my uniform for many years,” said Ms. Crawford, in an interview with Net-a-Porter in 2018.

“I would always throw in a black Alaïa dress when packing for trips because you would never know when you might need that dress.”

Creative treatments carry London-based photographer Tyrone Lebon’s touch.

His comments add color to rationale behind the campaign’s set selection — the studio where Ms. Gerber is featured in the latest Alaïa collection is that of Mr. Lebon's friend, artist Sterling Ruby, a continuation of the effort's networked theme.

As an excerpt’s caption explains, a small crew of just six worked with Ms. Gerber on-location.


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A post shared by ALAÏA (@maisonalaia)

The ready-to-wear collection’s designs are equally reminiscent of the last millennium’s latter decades.

Silhouettes embody Alaïa’s timeless aesthetic — if garments were to be decontextualized, deciphering a year of origin could very well require extensive archival expertise, as each piece appears to be rooted in the power of the feminine form, completely void of adherence to the fleeting trends placed upon them at every turn.

The iterative showcase itself rewrites the rules by aligning in title with the current season, setting the house apart from fashion’s breakneck schedule, in a bout of sustainability oft overlooked.

Overall, Ms. Gerber's mere presence simultaneously recalls the past, while suggesting that new possibilities for the luxury luminary are near.

“Kaia fascinates me because she never stops evolving,” said Pieter Mulier, creative director at Alaïa, according to the caption of a branded social post.

“She embodies beauty.”

Family ties 

Of the conglomerate’s luxury brand portfolio, Alaïa stands out.

Whether a comprehensive review of all applicable entities or an analysis of Ms. Gerber’s campaign, one insight is clear: fashion pushes Richemont further.

“It is interesting because the campaign signals an affinity toward keeping things within the family, whether immediate family or extended family,” Ms. Sturm said.

Kaia Gerber stars in Alaia's latest. Image credit: Alaia Kaia Gerber stars in Alaïa's latest. Image credit: Alaïa

“Arnault's five children all have top-tier positions within LVMH and this reshuffle is coming at a moment when both Dior and Louis Vuitton are thriving,” she said. “There is something to be said about bringing in fresh perspectives when brands are extremely high performing rather than being reactive toward a market shift and a downward trend.

“This reshuffle might motivate other conglomerates to explore similar strategies while being proactive toward the current market.”