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Max Azria

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Max Azria
Azria at the Spring 2009 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Born(1949-01-01)January 1, 1949
DiedMay 6, 2019(2019-05-06) (aged 70)
Hervé Léger by Max Azria
Max Azria
Miley Cyrus & Max Azria
(m. 1992)
[citation needed]

Max Azria (January 1, 1949 – May 6, 2019) was a French-American fashion designer who founded the contemporary women's clothing brand BCBG MAX AZRIA. Azria was also the designer, chairman and CEO of the BCBG Max Azria Group,[1] a global fashion house that encompassed over 20 brands.[2] Azria left BCBG in 2016. BCBG Max Azria filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and was sold to Marquee Brands and Global Brands Group.

Later Azria served as the CEO of ZappLight.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Max Azria was born in Sfax, Tunisia[5] as the youngest of six children; to a family of both Sephardi Jewish and Mizrahi Jewish (Tunisian-Jewish) descent. As a child, Azria was educated in southeastern France before his family immigrated to Paris, France in 1963.[citation needed] His brother is Serge Azria,[6] the founder of the women's clothing lines Joie, Current/Elliott and Equipment.[7]


After 11 years of designing a line of women's apparel in Paris, Azria moved to Los Angeles, California in 1981[5] and launched Jess, a series of new-concept retail boutiques for women's apparel.

In 1989, Azria launched BCBG Max Azria,[1] named for the French phrase "bon chic, bon genre," a Parisian slang meaning "good style, good attitude".[1] 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.[8] The BCBG Max Azria Runway collection was first presented at New York Fashion Week in 1996.[9]

Azria also maintained two eponymous designer collections, Max Azria Atelier and Max Azria. Launched in February 2004, Max Azria Atelier[1] is a collection of couture gowns created for celebrity clients and red-carpet events. Sharon Stone,[10] Halle Berry,[11] Fergie[12] and Alicia Keys[12] 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.[13] During the 2009 awards season, Angelina Jolie wore Max Azria to the 2009 Screen Actors Guild Awards[14] and the 2009 Critics Choice Awards.[15] The company bought out the bankrupt G+G Retail, which operated the G+G and Rave brands, in 2006.[16]

Azria acquired the Hervé Léger fashion house in 1998,[8] marking the first time in history that an American designer had acquired a French couturier.[17] In early 2007, Azria relaunched the Hervé Léger label with his own designs, which were quickly embraced by celebrities and trendsetters worldwide.[8]

In Fall 2008, Max Azria presented BCBG Max Azria 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.[18]

Azria launched a young contemporary collection called BCBGeneration in 2008.[19] In June 2009, Azria teamed up with Miley Cyrus to create a line for Walmart called Miley Cyrus & Max Azria.[2] Azria also designed clothing for Cyrus' 2009 American tour.[20]

Azria left BCBG in 2016 as the company foundered. BCBG Max Azria filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and was sold to Marquee Brands and Global Brands Group.[21][22]

On May 31, 2017, ZappLight announced that Max Azria joined ZappLight and its parent co Clean Concept LLC as CEO and partner.[23] "Though fashion and technology are inherently different, they increasingly intersect as both are centered on pushing the boundaries of great design and in inspiring and delighting consumers. I am thrilled to be part of this new and exciting venture to grow ZappLight into a global brand, adopted in homes everywhere to prevent virus-carrying insects," Max Azria said in a statement.[24]

Entrepreneurial at heart, it was only natural for the 68 year old to dive into a startup rather than retire.[25] ZappLight is a "2-in-1" LED light bulb and bug zapper.[26] ZappLight is disrupting the bug zapper industry that has been around since the 80's.[25] The ZappLight's new spin is combining an LED light that attracts bugs and mosquitoes and functions as an actual light bulb, along with the zapping technology of old.[25] The ZappLight is a bulb and not an entire fixture, meaning that homeowners can install them in any of their open bulb light fixtures outside.[25]

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Max Azria's Collection.

BCBG Max Azria Group is a global fashion house with a portfolio including more than 20 brands.[2] Max Azria was the CEO, chairman and head designer and his widow, Lubov Azria is the chief creative officer.[1]

As of 2006, there were over 550 BCBG Max Azria boutiques worldwide, including locations in London, Paris, Tokyo, Santiago and Hong Kong.[1] Azria's collections are also sold in specialty stores and major department stores across the globe, including Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Dillard's, the UK's Harvey Nichols, Hong Kong's Lane Crawford, Taiwan's Mitsukoshi and Singapore's Takashimaya stores.[1]

BCBG Max Azria Group campaigns regularly feature notable models, including Eva Herzigova,[27] Karen Elson[28] and Jessica Stam.[29] The company frequently works with internationally renowned photographers such as Patrick Demarchelier,[27] Paolo Roversi and David Sims.[30] BCBG Max Azria Group clothing is frequently featured in major fashion publications such as Vogue, InStyle and Vanity Fair,[31] and in online sites such as Style.com and iFashion Network.

Recent history[edit]

BCBG Max Azria Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on February 28, 2017; it was reported that in July 2017 the brand and its sister labels would be taken over by Marquee Brands and Global Brands Group, which bought the intellectual property rights and assets of the company.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Azria was married twice. He was divorced from his first wife with whom he had three children: Michael John Azria (born 1974), Joyce Azria Nassir (born 1981), and Marine Azria (born 1984).[33] Azria remarried to Ukrainian-born Lubov Azria, chief creative officer for BCBG Max Azria Group.[34] They had three children together: Chloe (born 1993), Nushi (born 1996), and Agnes (born 1997).[33] His daughter, Joyce Azria, was named creative director of BCBGeneration in 2009.[35] He and his family resided in a house designed by Paul Williams in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California.[36][37] It was formerly owned by the late Sidney Sheldon.[37]


Azria died of lung cancer at a hospital in Houston on May 6, 2019, aged 70.[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Mustafa, Nadia (Fall 2006). "Bon Business", Time Style & Design, 81.
  2. ^ a b c Edelson, Sharon (June 3, 2009). "Miley Cyrus, Max Azria Sign Deal To Launch Line", Women's Wear Daily, 12.
  3. ^ Chen, I-Chun (May 31, 2017). "Designer Max Azria aims to shine light on Zika virus as ZappLight's new CEO". Biz Journals.
  4. ^ Hamanaka, Kari (May 31, 2017). "Max Azria, BCBG Max Azria Group founder, named chief executive, partner of L.A. tech start-up". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, CA, USA.
  5. ^ a b Mustafa, Nadia (Fall 2006). "Bon Business", Time Style & Design, 82.
  6. ^ Elle Magazine: "Sole Mate - Florence Azria's Louboutin and Manolo addictions benefit charity" July 31, 2008
  7. ^ Los Angeles Times: "Clothier Serge Azria expands operations at Vernon headquarters" By Roger Vincent March 21, 2014
  8. ^ a b c Baker, Ashley (February 17, 2009). "Loving Max More Than Ever", The Daily, 20.
  9. ^ [1],Cfda.com, Retrieved on August 2, 2010.
  10. ^ Rubenstein, Hal (May 2006). "The Look of Max Azria Atelier", InStyle, 152
  11. ^ Souter, Ericka & Dowd, Kathy Ehrich (September 4, 2006). "Red Carpet Ready", People, 119.
  12. ^ a b Souter, Ericka & Dowd, Kathy Ehrich (September 4, 2006). "Red Carpet Ready", People, 120.
  13. ^ Decarlo, Lauren (February 2, 2006). "New Name for BCBG Max Azria Collection", Women's Wear Daily,14.
  14. ^ [2] Archived May 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine,usmagazine.com, Retrieved on June 3, 2009.
  15. ^ Scharf, Lindzi.:[3] Archived July 11, 2014, at the Wayback Machine instyle.com, Retrieved on June 3, 2009
  16. ^ "BCBG Max Azria Group and Guggenheim Win G+G Bidding". PR Newswire. February 15, 2006. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  17. ^ Avens, Mimi.: [4], Latimes.com, Retrieved on August 2, 2010.
  18. ^ Garrett, Chanteau.: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved August 2, 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), Teenchicmag.com, Retrieved on August 2, 2010.
  19. ^ Medina, Marcy (January 7, 2008). "BCBG Merges Two Lines to Form BCBGeneration", Women's Wear Daily, 12.
  20. ^ Lester, Tracey Lomrantz. "Miley Cyrus, Max Azria, And Wal-Mart: A Match Made In Fashion Heaven?". Glamour. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  21. ^ "BCBG Max Azria Files for Bankruptcy as Retail Glitz Fades". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on November 20, 2021.
  22. ^ Bankruptcy Court Approves Stalking Horse Bid for BCBG Max Azria
  23. ^ "BRIEF-ZappLight says Max Azria joins Zapplight and its parent co Clean Concept LLC as CEO and partner". Reuters. May 31, 2017. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  24. ^ WWD, Kari Hamanaka | (May 31, 2017). "Max Azria, BCBG Max Azria Group founder, named chief executive, partner of L.A. tech start-up". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  25. ^ a b c d "Max Azria Joins Bug Zapper Of The Future Startup As CEO". Nibletz. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  26. ^ "BCBG founder Max Azria ditches fashion for bug-zapping startup ZappLight". Retail Dive. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  27. ^ a b [5], Designscene.net, Retrieved on August 2, 2010.
  28. ^ [6], Designscene.net, Retrieved on August 2, 2010.
  29. ^ [7] Archived July 1, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, Nymag.com, Retrieved on August 2, 2010.
  30. ^ [8] Archived April 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Showstudio.com, Retrieved on August 2, 2010.
  31. ^ [9], Bcbgmaxazriagroup.com, Retrieved on December 8, 2009.
  32. ^ Deborah Belgum, Hundreds Get Final Pink Slips at BCBG Max Azria TLM Publishing Corp, July 11, 2017
  33. ^ a b People Magazine: "The Max Factor" by Julie K.L. Dam and Samantha Miller November 22, 1999
  34. ^ Zelevansky, Nora (August 2007). "Lubov Azria; On Schedule", C Magazine,30.
  35. ^ [10],Wwd.com, Retrieved on July 27, 2010.
  36. ^ Heyman, Marshall.:"Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 23, 2010. Retrieved July 29, 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) harpersbazaar.com, Retrieved on July 27, 2010
  37. ^ a b Christina Binkley, Max Azria Faces Losing Control, The Wall Street Journal, August 28, 2013
  38. ^ Moore, Booth (May 6, 2019). "Max Azria Dead at 70". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved May 6, 2019.

External links[edit]