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Met up with the man himself; Max Azria in Montreal

June 1st, 2010

For any designer, presenting their collection at New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is a painstaking task. The deadlines, the staff, the fittings, the stage setups, the models, the total backstage pandemonium can be enough to cause sky-rocketing stress levels. For Max Azria, the process gets repeated three times in one week. Twice a year. His collections (BCBG Max Azria, Max Azria, and Hervé Leger by Max Azria) might cater to three distinct types of women, but they all turn up in the closets of style-savvy starlets – think Leigh Lezark, Amanda Bynes, Mischa Barton, Tinsley Mortimer, Hilary Duff...

We met up with the man himself in Montreal, as he was about to celebrate the opening of his biggest retail store in North America. Sitting nonchalantly on the couch in his hotel suite, he discussed his empire like a man with very little to worry about.

The Max Azria name is associated with a powerful set of multinational brands. It seems like you would have a lot on your plate. So what’s a day like for you?
I’m cool, I’m cool. I’m super cool. I’m very fast: “Yes, yes, no, no, okay, yes…” I work very close with my wife [Lubov Azria], who is absolutely phenomenal. She’s my design director, and everything goes very easily.

Were you always this easygoing?
No, I was very stressed. Then one day I said, “For what?”

What sparked this change in attitude?

I found out that the best thing is to be cool, to be relaxed. When there’s a catastrophe, you repair. What else can we do?

Did you dream of being involved in fashion while growing up?
No. When I was younger, I did three years of theatre. I was an actor.

How were you introduced to the fashion industry?

I was introduced to the industry at 16 years old, because I wanted to help an old man. He was going to go for bankruptcy and his factory had 250 people, so in 30 days I saved the manufacture from going out of business. They stayed in business and survived.