banner2Lubov Azria in our Spring issue of dress to Kill Magazine!

The Azrias celebrate BCBGMAXAZRIA’s twenty-fifth anniversary as some of the world’s top models trot down a Lincoln Center runway in their milestone pieces. The couple’s Fall 2014 ready-to-wear collection is equal parts “Over the years” and “Oh my God, is that Lavender fur?”

More than the sum of those parts, the quarter century retrospective offers a chance to take a peek behind the curtain. What really lies beneath Their success? How has the powerhouse brand stayed on top of the market for twenty-five years? Who is the visionary behind the cool “bon chic, bon genre” label?

The answer to those questions is, “Lubov.” In 1991, she joined husband Max Azria at BCBGMAXAZRIA as a designer, and was later named the company’s Creative Director in 1996. Since then, the 46-year-old has taken the contemporary label to new heights. With her luxe Southern Californian air and keen business sense, she’s developed the brand into one of the country’s top labels—while maintaining roles at Hervé Léger by Max Azria, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and at home. 

You are a designer, businesswoman, and mother, among other things. What continually inspires you?

I’ll give you an answer for two things: What inspires me and what drives me. What inspires me every single day is the possibility of tomorrow—having no limits and creating something that is truly unique. What drives me every single day of my life is asking, “How do I make it better?” Whether it’s my breakfast or how to be a better mom or how to make the work process better.

[I’m] curious too. Curiosity is incredible! It’s what makes us create. [Our] culture cuts off our creativity, so asking why, is important. When was the last time you asked, “Why?” That’s how we learn. Without it, we do not grow.

How have you grown over the past years with BCBGMAXAZRIA and in your life outside of work? What major moments are you proud of?

I think building a team means sometimes that you have to let go. Letting go is the hardest thing you can do. When you run a company, you kind of micromanage everything. To step back and let other people make decisions and embrace those decisions with full love is quite difficult. If you have a kid, it’s letting that kid go to college. I think I have learned to let go, embrace, and enjoy every little thing that we do…but it’s very difficult. [Grins.]

banner32Sometimes we can’t help but hang on. Speaking of which, can you tell me about your fit model of twelve years?

Her name is Lynn. She is 56 years old, she has reddish hair, and she’s about five-foot-seven. She’s slim, but she doesn’t have a perfect body. I love putting clothes on her and making the clothes make her look better. I make sure that the clothes make her look cooler, sexier, edgier, and more feminine. If clothes don’t make you look better, what’s the point?

Let me tell you something: it’s very easy to fit on a beautiful model. You put the clothes on her and they look great and you don’t realize [what’s wrong]. The majority of our customers are not models. They’re working women who don’t always exercise, or take care of themselves. [I want] them to put a dress on that makes them look “Wow!”. I always try the clothing on too, because I have a very different body shape than [Lynn]. She’s got a booty, I have no butt whatsoever. If [the garment] makes us both look really good, then it goes to production.

Other than your booty, what’s something that you don’t usually get to talk about in interviews or that not many people know about you

Oh my gosh! There’s so many things. [Pauses to think.] Well, I love sheep. [Laughs.] I love Ted Talks. I’m obsessed with women and making women look and feel amazing.

There’s a great quote by Madeline Albright that says, “Women who do not help other women have a special place in Hell.” I love that quote because the reason that women are not at the top of most industries is because other women don’t support them. I hate that. I’m very pro-women. My whole goal is to make women feel powerful—and through my clothes, she does [feel powerful]. We have a lawyer, and she only wears Hervé Léger by Max Azria to court, and let me tell you, she wins every case. By the way, if you want to catch a cab, the fastest way is to put a Hervé Léger dress on—we just learned that yesterday!

[Laughs.] Good suggestion! If you could give your younger self some advice, what would it be?

There would be two things. One is patience. Follow your heart, be patient, and do the things that are right. The second thing is education. Anyone who doesn’t educate themselves when they’re young really suffers later on. My first three kids—my step-children—didn’t go to college. Even though they are in their 30s and 40s, that lack of education makes them doubt themselves every single day. It’s sad! I tell them, go back to college and get more education because it’s in the back of their heads that they didn’t learn anything. Education is so important—don’t ever skip that. You need an education to stand up in front of people who have a lot of years behind them and be able to converse with them and have an opinion.

As you continue to celebrate BCBGMAXAZRIA’s 25-year anniversary, have you thought about where you want to see yourself in another 25 years?

Oh my gosh…I guess that the sky is the limit. Building a lifestyle brand, maybe going into lingerie, different channels of distribution, and also to refocus the whole business. You know, we have so many stores, but they have been open based on our financial position at that time. I would like to have one store that is amazing versus four [as they are]. It’s really looking at the business and maybe changing it a little bit. That’s what I’m looking for in the next 25 years. We’ve built a company over the last 25 years like an escalator going up, so hopefully we can continue [to get better.]

Journalist : Lauren Chan

Photography: Juca



About The Author

Lauren Chan

Dress To Kill Feed