BCBG's Lubov Azria and moi

BCBG’s Lubov Azria and moi

 

You know that old adage “behind every great is a great woman”?

 

It’s something I thought about when I had the chance to dine with Lubov Azria last week. For those not in the know, she’s the elegant wife of BCBG’s founder, Max Azria, and as chief creative officer leads the company’s design team and oversees marketing and merchandising efforts. She’s also incredibly gracious (unfailingly polite doesn’t even begin to describe it). And gorgeous (hello, cheekbones). And has arguably the most killer closet you’ve ever seen (see below -swoon!).

 

Azria's killer closet.

Azria’s killer closet.

 

But more than any of those things, she’s the muse and creative force behind the LA-based label, helping to take it from a singular brand known for it’s affordable pieces to a global fashion powerhouse encompassing over twenty lines, dozens of categories and hundreds of stores  (including several new ones in Canada). It may be his name on the label but make no mistake, she’s the artistic determination behind it.

 

I’ve seen this before, notably with Roberto and Eva Cavalli. But unlike the Cavallis — who, as everyone well knows, lead totally separate lives and have a marriage in name only — the Azrias are the real deal. By all appearances, they seem to have a true partnership and when Lubov speaks of her husband, her voice softens with a sense of real tenderness and profound respect.

 

At my bff's wedding in my favourite BCBG gown, and the "Inga" on a model for a better look.

At my bff’s wedding in my favourite BCBG gown, and the “Inga” on a model for a better look.

 

 

There’s depth to her as well. At our dinner, she recalled a story of how, years ago when she was a still a fashion design student, she went into a store and fell in love with the most exquisite dress that unfortunately turned out to be well beyond her modest means. She said she never forgot how it made her feel, “sad and unworthy,” and swore to herself that when she became a designer, she would never create anything that made a woman feel the same way.

 

I guess that’s what impressed me most about Lubov. She’s smart and ambitious — anyone who’s watched the company’s growth trajectory or seen how savvy she is with social media can seen this — but she’s also driven by creative integrity and to this day, remains laser-focused on BCBG’s legacy of chic and affordable fashion.  Even their runway and red carpet pieces are not priced out of the realm of possibility. Aspirational, yes. But not insurmountable.

 

Ultimately, she projects a sense of being BCBG’s quiet visionary who shines a light on its past but bears the torch to lead it into the future.