There are so many inspiring things about BCBGMAXAZRIA’s Creative Designer, Lubov Azria, that makes her an indisputable role model for the modern woman. In fact, there is a litany of fine descriptors for her: She is a talented fashion designer, a strong entrepreneur, a loving mother of six children and a devoted wife. Her grace, her boundless energy, and her strong personal style show off her passion for life. Ukrainian-born, Lubov moved to Los Angeles to study at the Fashion and Design Institute before joining the BCBGMAXAZRIAGroup few years later. The rest is history. Sometimes, her personal parcours reminds me one of those brave women in a Danielle Steel’s glittering novels. Bref…
Anticipation. This is what drove me to the New York BCBG Showroom on the eve of the Spring/Summer 2013 fashion show at the Lincoln Center, where I caught up with Luboz Azria… And I didn’t leave you out, dear readers, I also included some of your questions in my interview (thank you for the e-mails folks!). I asked her 10 questions that she kindly answered.
Fati Zed: You work very closely with designer Max Azria, who also happens to be your husband. How does it work exactly? How do two great minds work together to jointly create one unique collection?
Lubov Azria : Well, we’re a great combo – we complete each other very well. Max is a visionary, he likes to think global. I’m very detail-oriented. When conceiving a collection, we sit down and talk about what we want to say about that particular season. There is no big difference between our collections, there is a continuation – a bit like a story that keeps evolving. So once the vision is set, we create boards, share ideas, do research and this is how the collection happens.
F.Z: So what is the vision behind the Spring/Summer collection we’ll be discovering tomorrow?
L.A: Max was talking about the strength of women, how powerful they are and how some of the top CFOs nowadays are females. We were inspired by some films noir and also by this book of Helmut Newton called Polaroids; We were attracted by the way Newton portrayed the modern woman: strong, powerful and always in control… We wanted the woman to be a bit different this time – a bit edgier and more in the forefront. We thought this woman should just seduce just standing there, without saying anything and without showing skin. It’s another type of language – the language of a ‘femme fatale.’
F.Z : What are the key pieces of the collection ? What should we expect ?
L.A : Our pieces will be more consistent this time. I think the runway will be all about workwear. so you’ll see a lot of dresses. And harnesses. The rest is yet to discover.
F.Z: Geometry and fluidity were the main components of BCBG fall collection. I sensed that the geometry reflected a certain eastern european influence and if you add the belts to the fluidity, the dresses were a bit caftan-esque. Was it influenced by your Ukrainian background and Max’s Tunisian origins?
L.A: Of course, it’s part of the DNA! Every single time, our pieces can be perceived either as a russian tunique or a caftan while being super-trendy! And I love caftans ! It’s funny that you picked up on that, because by the end of this particular collection, I was so tired that all I was dreaming about was our vacations in Morocco. So by the finale, the ten last looks had nothing to do with the first looks.
F.Z: And did you end up going to Morocco ?
L.A: No, unfortunately! We couldn’t get the flights!
F.Z: How would you describe the prototypical BCBG woman ?
L.A: I think my girl is a dynamic woman, in the forefront of fashion. She is savvy and she doesn’t hide behind the clothes. She celebrates life and enjoy it to the fullest.
F.Z: Talking about celebrating life, what does it take to a woman to embrace happiness according to you?
L.A: Well happiness is a state of mind, it doesn’t come from a man, or children but comes from doing what you love and be constantly in harmony with yourself. And you have to be confident about who you are. In other words, you love what you do, you can see how passionate you are about it and this is why you’re confident in yourself. And this is what brings you happiness. So If you get to grow this feeling and make it evolve, it’s just fantastic.
F.Z : So I guess creating is what makes you happy! So you’re the creative designer of a multinational brand and also the mother of six children, how do you handle your different roles and still manage to have time for yourself ?
L.A : Love. You don’t handle things, you just enjoy every moment you have. And you don’t set rules. There are no rules when I go out with my children, I don’t impose to them to behave in a certain way. I just enjoy my time with them and surround their growth with love.
There is this quote from the Dalai Lama that says : ”When asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered “Man…. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
This is exactly my point : You just need to enjoy the present. If all what you do is worry about what is going to happen tomorrow, well… you’re missing what is happening now.
F.Z : Amen ! Tell me more about your personal style, how would you define it ? What is a typical Lubov Outfit?
L.A: This is a difficult question, I have so many favourite outfits. A perfect outfit will be composed of a great shift dress. A harness, a belt or a leather accessory and a nice pair of shoes. I love shoes.
F.Z : What will be the ultimate advice you’d give to a fashionista seeking for her own personal style?
L.A: You have to dress based on your body shape. The moment you know what is good in you, that is when you start having your own personal style.