Max Azria is a world renowned fashion designer who has built his fashion empire through his creation of contemporary women’s apparels. He began designing at an early age, spending the first eleven years of his career in Paris, France. The designer ultimately moved to the United States, where he built the headquarters for his fashion empire in Los Angeles, California. Throughout his career, he has continued to develop apparels that are worn by Hollywood celebrities. His designs range from functional and affordable to glamorous, making him one of the most important and influential designers in the world. He is the CEO, Chairman and Head Designer of his own company, ‘BCBG Max Azria Group’, which has developed more than twenty brands and has more than 550 ‘BCBG Max Azria’ boutiques throughout the international market, including London, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo to name a few. ‘BCBG Max Azria Group’ produces effective and acclaimed advertising schemes each season, incorporating top models, photographers and stylists; the ads are included in major publications. His fashion forward mindset has earned him a solid reputation within the fashion community and among celebrities and the average consumer.
Childhood & Early Life
Max Azria was born on January 1, 1949, in Sfax, Tunisia, as the youngest of six children to Tunisian Jewish parents. His older brother, Serge Azria, also designs women’s apparel.
When he was thirteen-year-old, his family relocated to the south of France, then to Paris in 1963, where he furthered his education.
While in Paris, the designer developed an interest in textiles, leading to his career in the fashion industry.
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Azria began designing women’s clothing in Paris in 1970. After eleven years in the Paris market, he moved to America in 1981 and opened a line of retail stores called Jess, which specialized in hip French clothing.
In 1989, he started his company ‘BCBG Max Azria’, headquartered in California. The name was developed from the French saying, “bon chic bon genre”, meaning “good style good attitude”.
He introduced his first runway collection in 1996, namely, ‘BCBG Max Azria Runway’, at the ‘New York Fashion Week’.
The designer expanded his product line in 1999 by adding a plus size line of clothing for women and incorporating men’s fashion into the ‘BCBG Max Azria’ brand.
Two new collections were introduced in 2004, ‘Max Azria Atelier’ and ‘Max Azria’. The line ‘Max Azria Atelier’ consists of couture gowns created specifically for celebrity clients and red carpet events.
In 2006, he premiered the line ‘Max Azria’ at ‘New York Fashion Week’. This line consisted of ready-to wear collections with distinct artistry. In the same year, his company bought out the bankrupt retail chain ‘G+G Retail’. This purchase allowed the designer to acquire the lines ‘G+G’ and ‘Rave Brand’.
Awards & Achievements
There are over 550 ‘BCBG Max Azria’ boutiques worldwide and his collections are sold in major department stores including ‘Nordstrom’, ‘Saks Fifth Avenue’, ‘Bloomingdale’s’ and ‘Macy’s’ to name a few.
From 1995 to 1997, he won three distinguished awards: ‘California Designer of the Year’ in 1995, ‘Atlanta Designer of the Year’ in 1996, and the ‘Fashion Performance Award’ in 1997.
In 1998, he acquired ‘Herve Leger’ fashion house; this was the first time in fashion history that an American designer attained a French couturier. It wasn’t until 2007 that Azria re-launched the ‘Herve Leger’ label with his own designs, which are popular amongst celebrities and the fashion elite.
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This fashion mogul continued to acquire accolades in 2004 and 2005. He was awarded the ‘Hollywood Life’s Breakthrough Award’ in 2004 and the ‘Dallas Fashion Award’ in 2005.
At the 2007 ‘LA Fashion Awards”, he received the ‘Wells Fargo Century Fashion Achievement Award’. This award recognized the designer’s lengthy career in the fashion industry.
During the fall of 2008, he presented ‘BCBG Max Azria Runway’, ‘Max Azria’ and ‘Herve Leger by Max Azria’ at ‘New York Fashion Week’. This was the first time an American designer produced three major fashion shows during one ‘New York Fashion Week’.
At the ‘33rd Annual Dallas Fashion Awards’, in 2008, he was given the ‘Fashion Excellence Award’ for the re-launch of the ‘Herve Leger’ brand.
Personal Life & Legacy
Max Azria is married to Lubov Azria, the Chief Creative Officer for ‘BCBG Max Azria Group’. The couple has six children and they reside in Los Angeles, California. His daughter Joyce Azria was named Creative Director of ‘BCB Generation’ in 2009.
Max Azria has proven to be one of the most successful fashion designers, amassing a net worth of US$1.2 billion. His global fashion house ‘BCBG Max Azria Group’ has a portfolio including 20 brands and his company has over 550 BCBG Max Azria boutiques worldwide.
In 2009, this fashion designer worked with Miley Cyrus to develop the fashion line ‘Miley Cyrus & Max Azria’ for ‘Wal-Mart’.
General Motors selected him as spokesperson for ‘Concept: Cure’, which is an international charity dedicated to the support of breast cancer research.
He has designed clothes for television shows including ‘Friends’, ‘Seinfeld’, and ‘Ally McBeal'.