Fashion Week

Inside the Studio of BCBGMAXAZRIA at New York Fashion Week

Designers spend months preparing for a new collection, but when it comes to casting models for their runway show and putting the finishing touches on garments, they have just a few days to finalize their vision for the coming season. With New York Fashion Week just three days away, the Nordstrom blog team stopped by the Times Square showroom of BCBGMAXAZRIA to get an inside look at Lubov Azria’s world before she sends the fall/winter 2013 (FW13) collection down the catwalks of Lincoln Center. Despite the madness surrounding Lubov, the brand’s Chief Creative Officer, she maintains a coolness that makes her just as alluring as her ready-to-wear creations.

The BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP is based in Los Angeles, so during Fashion Week the entire operation sets up shop in their New York showroom, located on Broadway in the heart of Manhattan. This incredible studio features a 3-D display crafted from the finest diaphanous material.

Every corner of this multilevel studio was bustling with creatives. In the design room, we found the brand’s dressmakers sewing together Lubov’s unique vision for FW13.

We talked one-on-one with Lubov, who was all smiles while she shared the inspiration for FW13. “Last September I went to Istanbul with one other person from my design team, and we took our time slowly tracing the historical footsteps of the city,” said the Ukrainian-born designer and wife of Max Azria. “We took tons of pictures of mosques, the architecture, sampled the spices, the food—overall it was a sense experience.”

During our conversation Lubov’s design team rushed in and out of the room fully armed with runway pieces that required her attention.

“Upon my return from Istanbul, I shared my journey with my entire design team, and the trip became the focus for the collection. Then later, Phil Frost, who is an amazing American graffiti artist, inspired us,” added Lubov, who shared these photos from the collection’s mood board. “I wanted to combine what is going on now—modern/street urban—with the rich history of Istanbul. I also looked at people, in particular southern gypsies, and the way they put clothes together and how we today wear things.”

When it comes to runway rituals, Lubov laughed about her habits. “I have a stuffed-dog pillow I always take with me. It is deflated to the point of nothing, but I love it. And I always have on my ‘Last Love’ bracelets. The most important thing is having my magical team; they are my backbone.” Pictured here with designer Abigail Doh.

“I have an attitude of gratitude. I am blessed every single time I get to do this. Not only is this a very costly thing, it’s also a privilege. Even before I get on the plane to come to New York, I just say ‘thank God’ because this job is an incredible thing.”

As models made their way in from the cold, they were greeted with a Fashion Week survival kit that was filled with everything from L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream to LUNA nutritional bars, goodies Lubov likes to put together each season for her girls.

The BCBGMAXAZRIA FW13 show will kick off Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York on Thursday, February 7, at 10am EST. Until then, check out the current BCBG spring collection.

Qianna Smith

Photos by Fernando Colon