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Models, politicians remember late designer Alaia in Tunisia

November 20, 2017

Tunisian-born fashion model Afef Jnifen leaves the residence of Tunisian-born designer Azzedine Alaia before attending his funeral ceremony in Sidi Bou Said, north of the Tunisian capital Tunis, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Azzedine Alaia, an iconoclast whose clingy dresses marked the 1980s and who dressed famous women from Hollywood to the White House, has died at age 77. (AP Photo/Amine Landoulsi)

SIDI BOU SAID, Tunisia (AP) — Models, government ministers, relatives and friends have attended the funeral in Tunisia of fashion designer Azzedine Alaia, a native of the North African country who won international acclaim.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell, who enjoyed a close relationship with Alaia, appeared overwhelmed with emotion during the burial ceremony Monday in Sidi Bou Said, a picturesque village outside the capital, Tunis.

“Papa, papa,” a sobbing Campbell whispered as the influential designer’s coffin was lowered.

Alaia dressed women as diverse as Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Grace Jones and Greta Garbo. He died Saturday in Paris, where he lived and worked for decades.

Model Afef Jnifen, who is from Tunisia as well, also bid farewell to the secretive designer who Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi described as “the best ambassador of his country.”

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