- Biographie: Max Azria was born in Sfax, Tunisia, but he began his fashion career in Paris, France. In 1981, after eleven years of designing a line of women's wear in his native Paris, Azria moved to the United States and launched Jess, a series of new-concept retail boutiques offering hip French fashion to American women. After years of success, Azria decided to pursue his dream of launching a design house that spoke to the modern woman-thus BCBGMAXAZRIA was born. Named for the French phrase "bon chic, bon genre," a Parisian slang meaning "good style, good attitude," the brand embodies a true combination of European sophistication and American spirit. With critically acclaimed collections, a loyal following of Hollywood's top celebrities and a strong worldwide presence, this fashion powerhouse has evolved into one of the hottest names in the fashion industry today. Continuously expanding while defining trends, Max Azria has let the industry know that he is indeed building a global empire.
- Company / Brand: Founded in 1989, BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP is the lifetime vision of Founder, Designer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Max Azria. Key to BCBGMAXAZRIA's success has been Azria's ability to maintain his creativity while maximizing his keen business sense. As one of today's rare breed of designer-businessmen, Azria used his talent to create a new platform in the industry. With the launch of the BCBGMAXAZRIA brand, he redefined the designer category by offering innovative, high-quality clothing at contemporary price points. As a result, Azria was inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) in 1998.
Determined to realize his vision, Azria built upon the success of his women's ready-to-wear line and created a lifestyle brand consisting of multiple high-fashion collections for women, including evening dresses, denim, outerwear, footwear, swimwear, handbags and small leather goods. He introduced additional product categories through a series of licensing agreements with some of the industry's most reputable companies, including the world leader in men's shirting, Philips-Van Heusen Corporation, for men's dress shirts and ties, launched in Summer 2004. This licensing deal was closely followed by similar agreements with Geneva Watch Co. for women's watches, VCS Group Inc. for footwear, Neema Clothing Ltd. for suits and suit separates and ClearVision for optical eyewear in Spring 2005.
Reinforcing BCBGMAXAZRIA as a premiere American fashion brand, Azria successfully launched his collection on the runway for the first time during New York's Fall 1996 Fashion Week. The following season, The New York Times hailed, "Mr. Azria imbued his collection with worldly elan." In February 2006, in response to both his critical success and the needs and aspirations of his most discerning customers, Azria launched an exclusive runway designer collection called Max Azria. The collection allows Azria to explore his creativity full force, ultimately resulting in a line of directional, sophisticated designs in the most luxurious fabrics. Celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Rachel Bilson and Eva Mendes have become fans of the brands and list BCBGMAXAZRIA and Max Azria as staples in their wardrobes. At the other end of his design spectrum is Azria's highly exclusive collection of couture gowns, launched in February 2004 under the label Max Azria Atelier. Taking inspiration from the glamour and sensuality of Hollywood, Azria creates opulent and elegant one-of-a-kind gowns for celebrity clients and red-carpet events. Sharon Stone, Halle Berry, Demi Moore, Beyonc矋nowles, Lucy Liu and Fergie have walked the red carpet wearing Max Azria Atelier.
In 1998 BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP acquired the Herve Leger fashion house, marking the first time in history that a French couturier had been absorbed by an American designer. Azria relaunched the Herve Leger label in early 2007 with his own designs, which have since been embraced by celebrities such as Kate Winslet, Victoria Beckham, Alicia Keys and Catherine Zeta-Jones. For Fall 2008, in addition to showing BCBCMAXAZRIA and Max Azria during New York Fashion Week, Azria presented his Herve Leger by Max Azria collection. This marked the first time that an American designer produced three major fashion shows for three distinct collections during one New York fashion week.
The Fall 2008 season also witnessed the merging of the BCBGirls and To The Max collections to create one, comprehensive, young-contemporary lifestyle brand named BCBGeneration (pronounced BCBG Generation), which is designed for women of all generations seeking fashion that balances a feminine, sexy aesthetic with an eclectic and urban sensibility. In Fall 2009, Azria again expanded the Group with a new collaborative collection with teen superstar Miley Cyrus named Miley Cyrus.
My Favorite Looks: BCBGMAXAZRIA Spring/Summer 2010
My Favorite Looks: MAX AZRIA Spring/Summer 2010.