By Anetta Nowosielska
To say Lubov Azria is one busy woman would be an understatement. Along with her husband Max, the Ukrainian-born maven runs a small empire, shaping each season’s look for brands under the BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP umbrella every stylish Hamptonite knows well – from the signature BCBG to the upscale BCBG Runway – as well as Hervé Léger, the high-fashion line best known for its iconic, body-conscious bandage dresses.? All of this means new creative challenges and a packed schedule that takes Azria on the road frequently, both to seek inspiration and to meet with those who run the brands’ various boutiques. As the spring collections are hitting the shelves of BCBG’s East Hampton shop (one of the 530 boutiques worldwide stocking 150 new pieces each month) Lubov fills us in on what’s in store for BCBG this season.
How would you describe the BCBG girl?
We have four types of women who we design for in the BCBG category. One of them is called “connoisseur,” a working mom who needs clothes that are practical and beautiful and she wants to stand out. The second customer is “socialite,” she really doesn’t have a job, or if she does it’s more social, so she loves dresses and standing out in a crowd and everything is dressed up. The third type of customer is called “visionary,” and this is someone who works in the industry and who truly loves fashion. She loves details, special cuts, and things like this. The fourth one is “urban rock,” the rock and roll girl. So when we design for BCBG we make sure there’s something for all four girls in the line. But the BCBG woman, she’s practical, she’s on the forefront of fashion, she knows what she wants, and she’s us!
What can we expect to see from BCBG this spring?
You’ll see a play on proportions and tailoring, and a juxtaposition of the old with the new. For Hervé Léger, we were really inspired by global influences and functional modernism. We’ve introduced easy layering separates and new dimensions of stitching and patterns.
What’s appealing to you about getting out to the area stores when you’re in town?
You connect with your clients and customers. You have to have the same beliefs and values as your customers. That’s how they become your loyal customers. That’s true of your staff as well. We’re passionate people, who are here to inspire other passionate people. Fashion is something amazing – we make a woman look and feel beautiful, period. That’s what we do.
When you’re in the Hamptons how much are you actually working?
It depends. If I’m here for a week, I’ll work, let’s say, 40 percent of the time – or if I’m here for two weeks, maybe 30 percent of the time. I try to relax here as much as I can.
Having spent time here, is there a particular Hampton style?
I think one of the things I love in the Hamptons about the women whom I’m friends with is that they’re so international and so cosmopolitan, and they inspire me. The fascinating thing is that the merchandise we put out is basically the same throughout all of our stores. Yet each area interprets them differently. Out in the Hamptons, women totally let go of what’s expected. It’s amazing. They’re sexier; they have more joie de vivre and live their lives to the fullest. It’s the weather and being together with friends and family. When you’re here, you immediately feel like you’re on vacation. You want to relax and celebrate and dress up.