Seasons have changed, and another NYFW has come and long gone. During the frenetic time of runway shows upon runway shows, I had the opportunity to meet a woman of boundless talent – Lubov Azria, Creative Director for BCBGMAXAZRIA.
I was perched on the lobby couch at BCBG, when the door buzzed and in breezed Lubov, dressed to perfection head to toe, despite the early call time (10am on a Sunday is an ambitious appointment). In awe, I had the chance to relish in 10 minutes of fashion wisdom and invaluable business insights.
Defining the DNA behind both the BCBGMAXAZRIA and Hervé Lérger woman is something Lubov has no hesitation in doing. “She doesn’t really have a job, she kind of dances and dines. She has a very bohemian sensibility – when we think of the BCBGMAXAZRIA customer we have to think about who she is and where she’s going. In this particular time she’s inspired by texture, color, things that are faded by the sun. She’s glam and ethereal. The collection will be delivered before Easter. What will she be wearing? Summer is coming – will she be travelling?”
“For Hérvé Léger, she’s always at the forefront of fashion. She’s always strong, sensual, and powerful. This time we wanted to give her something different, we wanted to evolve her into more shapes, outside of her comfort (like peplum, toughness with metal).”
You just introduced the Like it to Know it Partnership – how important is digital communication to BCBG?
Lubov: This partnership has been amazing so far…for the week that it’s been active since the show! We’re really looking forward to seeing the result. What’s great about the partnership. Social media is extremely important, it’s the only way to showcase your company, your DNA. In the olden days of 2000, people would advertise for you (Vogue would use your dress in their way, their narrative). It never represented the company. BCBGMAXAZRIA inspires women to be inspirational. It was a great way for women to get what they want, right away.
We are the customer. Women dress based on their body shape…they don’t dress based on trends. We design clothes that we know will fit the lifestyle effortlessly, and will give our customer their edge. They’re also the clothes that WE love to wear.
What is your advice for young women looking to start a business?
Lubov: You have to really know what you want, go after it and never give up. Communication is key. There’s a great quote by Madeleine Albright – women that don’t support other woman have a special place in hell. The reason women are not at the top, is because other women sabotage them. If we can create a culture of women supporting woman, this world would be a better place
You’re constantly evolving the body con – how do you keep it fresh, unique, and appealing?
Lubov: We have a team that develops swatches. We work with limiting material, “bandage”, is a knit vs. a woven. We have one or two people committed to weaving and folding techniques. We take the swatches (we probably have 600 of them these days after collecting). We design with an intention of development. We have a technical team that does the jacquards and pointelles. Then all of the developments are put together and we decide what things are current and work.
It’s so comfortable…there’s no boning, structure, lining. Body con is a classic shape that people gravitate towards, it comes from the 40s. Everyone has an idea of glamour! Evolving the shape is not always challenging…what’s more challenging is trying to educate the consumer about what could be done with it.
The Next question is about MUSIC. I’m finding at each of your shows I’m always Shazamming, the tracks are unique and independent. How do you pull it all together?
We hire professional Music Consultants just for the show. Someone by the name Laurent does the BCBG show, and what he does is sends me tracks based on the theme of the show, and I decide which ones go with the overall presentation. We change it around and have them mix it, I probably have about 100 songs right now. I like music that touches me. That’s how we do it for BCBGMAXAZRIA.
For HL it’s a completely different process. Our other consultant sends us beats, and you listen to about 200 beats. We choose about 10-15 beats that we feel identify with the collection, and then he orchestrates it. This time we had him rework it three times because we wanted the show to pick up at certain places…and that’s how we work!
I watched a video of your beautiful home! You had mentioned Max’s favorite color was Orange. What’s yours currently?
Currently? Orange! I love color, period. I’m less of a pink person, but it’s starting to grow on me if it’s more to the yellow shade vs. blue shade. Probably Orange followed by Yellow.