Azzedine Alaïa, the Tunisian-born fashion designer, is rumoured to be in talks with a major American fashion group, according to Fashion Net.

Alaïa, who discovered supermodels Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford and whose clients have included Greta Garbo and Cécile de Rothschild, is thought to be considering a tie up with Prada or fledgling fashion conglomerate the Pegasus Apparel Group.

If the deal goes through, Alaïa's new partner will allow him to expand his atelier, founded 21 years ago, while also taking care of business.

Both Prada and Pegasus have been named as potential partners, but it is unlikely that an agreement will be reached until at least November, Fashion Net predicted.

Pegasus, which has been described by the New York Post as an LVMH in the making, has snapped up designers Daryl K, Pamela Dennis, Cynthia Rowley, John Bartlett, and Miguel Adrover (who won the 2000 CFDA's Best New Designer award) so far this year.

"We bring everything but the design talent," said Pegasus Apparel Group CEO Stephen Ruzow.

Ruzow, a veteran fashion executive who has worked for Donna Karan and Warnaco, says that he plans to buy eight to 10 companies and is hoping to pull in revenues of $400m a year.

About Azzedine Alaïa
Alaïa studied sculpture at the Beaux Arts in Tunis before going to Paris in the 50s, where he remained virtually unknown for 30 years, despite designing for such luminaries as Greta Garbo.
An exhibition of Alaïa's work is currently on tour and will visit cities around the world over the next three years, including New York, Milan and Tel Aviv.