The man behind the fashion label that took over the fashion industry by storm in the 90s and is still going strong, Max Azria was born on 1st January 1949 in Sfax, Tunisia. His family shifted to Paris later in 1963. Azria today is the CEO and chairman of the contemporary women’s clothing label, BCBG Max Azria. He is known as the pioneer of the fashion industry for his great aesthetic sense in fashion and his modern designs.
Azria’s career took off with fits and starts when he launched his first clothing line in Paris at the age of twenty. For almost eleven years, he took great pains to help his unsuccessful clothing line stay afloat in the market but failed. He shifted to Los Angeles with hopes for a better future and launched a series of retail boutiques dealing in women’s apparel in 1981 by the name of Jess. But his career didn’t catch a lucky break till 1989 with launch of his fashion label, BCBG Max Azria. The label made waves in the industry for chic outfits with an affordable price tag. His label’s groundbreaking success led to his induction into the CFDA in 1998.
Later that year, Azria made history by becoming the first American fashion designer to take over a French couturier when he acquired the Herve Leger fashion house. In 1996, the New York Fashion Week witnessed the first BCBG Max Azria Collection on the runway. Much later in 2004, Azria came up with another designer collection called Max Azria Atelier. The collection consisted of couture gowns especially designed for celebs and strict black-tie events like the red carpet. Within two years, a ready to wear clothing line hit the runways of the New York Fashion Week in February of 2006. G+G retail was also acquired by Max Azria’s company when it went broke in 2006.
Trendsetters and celebrities all over the world like Kate Winslet, Britney Spears, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Beyonce turned their heads towards the once bankrupt Herve Leger when Azria re-launched it in early 2007 by bringing in his own designs. It was time to rewrite history again in fall 2008 when Azria became the first designer to have all three of his labels grace the runways during one New York Fashion Week. In 2008, BCBG Generation was launched which targeted the younger generation and another line was launched exclusively for Wal-Mart in collaboration with Miley Cyrus called Miley Cyrus & Max Azria. The young singer’s clothes for her American tour of 2009 were also designed by Max Azria.
Together with his chief creative officer wife, Lubov Azria, the Max Azria’s international fashion house has more than twenty brands under its belt today with more than 550 boutiques operating worldwide. Major department and specialty stores all over the world sell Azria’s collections as well. The designer’s tasteful creations have graced the covers of many famous magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair and InStyle off and supermodels like Karen Elson and Eva Herzigova have often featured in his brand campaigns. Throughout his illustrious career, Max Azria has received many awards like the Fashion Performance Award, the California Designer of the Year award, the Otis Fashion Achievement Award, the Wells Fargo Century Fashion Achievement award and the Fashion Excellence Award among others. Celebrities like Fergie, Sharon Stone, Halle Berry and Alicia Keys are noted to be Azria’s loyal clients.