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L.A. Fashion Icon Max Azria, 70, Dead

Posted Monday, May 6, 2019 - 5:34 pm

Legendary fashion icon Max Azria, whose designs rocked the fashion industry when he established BCBG Max Azria in 1989 – has died, according to Apparel News.

The Tunisian-born 70-year old fashion icon reportedly passed away from lung cancer Monday in a Houston hospital.

BCBG is a French acronym for “bon chic, bon genre,” or “good style, good attitude.” 

He launched BCBG Max Azria in 1989, winning the appreciation of celebrities such as Drew Barrymore, Selena Gomez and Kim Kardashian. At the height of his empire, he had over 500 stores worldwide and his clothing was carried in every major department store. His Max Azria Atelier gowns have been worn by celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Sharon Stone, Fergie and Halle Berry. 

He acquired the Hervé Léger label in 1998, the first time an American fashion designer had taken over a French couturier. He re-launched Hervé Léger in 2007 with his own designs, which quickly gained favor.

In 2008, he launched a younger, contemporary line, BCBGeneration, naming Joyce Azria, his oldest daughter, to be creative director. Brother Serve Azria is also a Los Angeles fashion designer and founder of Joie, Current/Elliott and Equipment.In 2009, he teamed with Miley Cyrus to create a clothing line for Walmart.

Azria believed in making his fashions more affordable and for that, he was inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers in 1998. 

In 2016, Azria left the company. Investors Guggenheim Partners owned most of the company’s debt. The BCBGMaxAzria Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2017 over a debt load of $485 million. was sold to Marquee Brands and Global Brands Group. A bid from a consortium kept the Los Angeles brand alive and kept about 20 stores open. 

Max Azria is survived by his wife, Lubov Azria, creative director at BCBGMaxAzria Group, and six children, Michael, Chloe, Marine, Agnes, Anais and Joyce. 

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