Max Azria (born January 1, 1949) is a French fashion designer of Tunisian Jewish descent who founded the contemporary women's clothing brand BCBGMAXAZRIA. Azria is also the designer, chairman and CEO of BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP, a global fashion house that encompasses over 20 brands. He is based in Los Angeles.
Max Azria was born in Sfax, Tunisia, as the youngest of 6 children. As a child, Max was educated in southeastern France before his family relocated to Paris, France, in 1963.
After 11 years of designing a line of women's apparel in Paris, Azria moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1981 and launched Jess, a series of new-concept retail boutiques for women's apparel.
In 1989, Azria launched BCBGMAXAZRIA, named for the French phrase "bon chic, bon genre," a Parisian slang meaning "good style, good attitude". Azria was credited for offering designer fashion at affordable price points and, as a result, was inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) in 1998. The BCBGMAXAZRIA Runway collection was first presented at New York Fashion Week in 1996.
Azria also maintains two eponymous designer collections, Max Azria Atelier and Max Azria. Launched in February 2004, Max Azria Atelier is a collection of couture gowns created for celebrity clients and red-carpet events. Sharon Stone, Halle Berry, Fergie and Alicia Keys have worn the label on the red carpet. In February 2006, Azria debuted Max Azria, a ready-to-wear collection with a directional aesthetic, on the runway at New York Fashion Week. During the 2009 awards season, Angelina Jolie wore Max Azria to the 2009 Screen Actors Guild Awards and the 2009 Critics Choice Awards.
Azria acquired the Hervé Léger fashion house in 1998, marking the first time in history that an American designer had acquired a French couturier. In early 2007, Azria relaunched the Hervé Léger label with his own designs, which were quickly embraced by celebrities and trendsetters worldwide. Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Lopez, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kate Winslet are among the celebrities who have worn the label for red carpet events.
In Fall 2008, Max Azria presented BCBGMAXAZRIA Runway, Max Azria and Hervé Léger by Max Azria at New York Fashion Week, marking the first time an American designer produced three major fashion shows during one New York Fashion Week.
Azria launched a young contemporary collection called BCBGeneration in 2008. In June 2009, Azria teamed up with Miley Cyrus to create a line for Walmart called Miley Cyrus & Max Azria. Azria also designed clothing for Cyrus' 2009 American tour.
BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP is a global fashion house with a portfolio including more than 20 brands. Max Azria is the CEO, chairman and head designer alongside his wife, Lubov Azria, who acts as chief creative officer.
There are currently over 550 BCBGMAXAZRIA boutiques worldwide, including locations in London, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Azria’s collections are also sold in specialty stores and major department stores across the globe, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, the UK’s Harvey Nichols, Hong Kong’s Lane Crawford, Taiwan’s Mitsukoshi and Singapore’s Takashimaya stores.
BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP campaigns regularly feature notable models, including Eva Herzigova, Karen Elson and Jessica Stam. The company frequently works with internationally renowned photographers such as Patrick Demarchelier, Paolo Roversi and David Sims. BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP clothing are frequently featured in major fashion publications such as Vogue, InStyle and Vanity Fair. As well as online sites such as Style.com and iFashion Network
Awards and honors
Azria has received many awards throughout his career, including the California Designer of the Year (1995), Atlanta Designer of the Year (1996), The Fashion Performance Award (1997), The Otis Fashion Achievement Award (2000), Hollywood Life’s Breakthrough Award (2004) and The Dallas Fashion Award (2005). Azria also received the Wells Fargo Century Fashion Achievement Award at the 2007 L.A. Fashion Awards and the 2008 Fashion Excellence Award at the 33rd Annual Dallas Fashion Awards. He received the latter in recognition of the successful relaunch of his Hervé Léger brand.
Max Azria is married to Lubov Azria, chief creative officer for BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP. He has six children, including Joyce Azria, who was named creative director of BCBGeneration in 2009. He and his family currently reside in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California.
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Azria is a French fashion designer of Tunisian Jewish descent who founded the contemporary women's clothing brand BCBGMAXAZRIA. Azria is also the designer, chairman and CEO of BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP, a global fashion house that encompasses over 20 brands. He is based in Los Angeles.