As creative director for BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP, Lubov Azria oversees such a wide variety of lines that it’s a good thing she never views her to-do list as drudgery.
TRILLIONAIRE caught up with the Ukraine-born wife of company founder Max Azria in her Miami Beach home to discuss how she discovered her Floridian home, how she relaxes here, and how the island helps her recharge to keep on going.
To say Azria is one busy woman, would be an understatement. She runs a small empire, shaping each season’s look for brands under the BCBG umbrella – from the signature BCBG to the upscale BCBG Runway – as well as Hervé Léger, the high-fashion line best known for its iconic, body-conscious bandage dresses.
All of this means new creative challenges and a packed schedule that takes Azria on the road frequently, both to seek inspiration and to meet with those who run the brands’ various boutiques. Luckily, Azria and her family have found the perfect place to recharge. Though they maintain a permanent residence in Los Angeles, the large Azria clan convenes on Fisher Island for every holiday and special occasion. Here’s why:
What brought you to Miami Beach?
Lubov Azria: My brother-in-law, Victor Azria, is a long-time resident of Miami Beach. He’s lived here for 20 or 30 years; so we used to come to visit him. When I had kids, this was the best place to be because it’s safe and beautiful and we could relax and enjoy ourselves all together, as one big family. We started coming here in 1996, I think, and then we bought this place about six years ago. Before that we used to rent all the time.
Why did you buy a home in Miami?
We were coming here so often. It was literally every holiday – whether it was Thanksgiving or spring break or summer vacations. Any time we had free time we would be here; so we thought, might as well. All together, Max and I have six kids; so this was paradise for them.
What made Miami Beach stand out from the other posh neighborhoods in Miami?
We never went anywhere else! We never cared enough to go anywhere else because we came here and it was perfect. I don’t think you have to shop around. You only shop around if you’re not happy with what you have.
My children really like the freedom here. They love the fact that they have different activities here – whether it’s golf, or tennis, or going to the beach, or just running around. This is like a mini-paradise; so they just enjoy every moment. They go out first thing in the morning, and then I see them again in the evening.
What’s your typical day like when you’re here?
It’s very easy. The most important thing is that you relax and take it easy. So we wake up in the morning and meet at the beach café for breakfast – then go to the beach – then meet again for lunch. After lunch we come back here and do some reading or take a nap. Then we meet for a nice fish dinner or whatever else the kids crave. That’s pretty much it.
Sometimes we get out because the company has about eight stores in Miami; so we get out to visit the stores. We also entertain here. My husband’s birthday is January 1; so it was always easy to invite people here to celebrate his birthday because we have space and everybody came to Florida for holidays in the winter time, anyway.
What’s appealing to you about getting out to the area stores when you’re in town?
You connect with your clients and customers. You have to have the same beliefs and values as your customers. That’s how they become your loyal customers. That’s true of your staff as well. We’re passionate people, who are here to inspire other passionate people. Fashion is something amazing – we make a woman look and feel beautiful, period. That’s what we do.
With that in mind, when you’re in town, how much are you actually working, or is this just to recharge?
It depends. If I’m here for a week, I’ll work, let’s say, 40 percent of the time – or if I’m here for two weeks, maybe 30 percent of the time. I try to relax here as much as I can.
Do you see a particular Miami style in your customers, and if so, what do you think it is?
I think it’s about the woman. They’re not just customers; they’re my friends. It’s more about how the woman feels. Is there a particular Miami style? It depends. You have Latin ladies, who like more color than, say, New Yorkers. But also in New York, you have people who love color. I have customers who travel all over – who shop in Miami, but live in Venezuela, and go to Europe.
I think one of the things I love in Miami about the women whom I’m friends with is that they’re so international, and they inspire me. And when they’re here, they totally let go. It’s amazing. They’re sexier; they have more joie de vivre and live their lives to the fullest. It’s the sun and the weather. When you’re here, you feel like you’re on vacation. You want to relax and celebrate and dress up.
By Arielle Castillo