BCBG and Hérve Léger designer Max Azria dead at 70

Max Azria, the founder of fashion brand BCBGMAXAZRIA and longtime designer of celeb-favorite Hervé Léger, has died at the age of 70. According to WWD, he passed away on Monday, May 6, at a hospital in Houston following a battle with lung cancer.

Born in Tunisia in 1949, the designer was raised in France before moving to the United States, and all of those cultures influenced his trend-driven design aesthetic.

He founded his eponymous brand in 1989, and quickly became a favorite of stars like Drew Barrymore, Fergie and Halle Berry. In addition to its red carpet atelier and New York Fashion Week collections, BCBG, which is a French acronym for “bon chic, bon genre,” (i.e. good style, good attitude), had a ready-to-wear component that could be found in department stores and its own boutiques around the globe.

Building on his successful, celeb-fave occasion wear business, Azria acquired French fashion label Hervé Léger in 1998, and he relaunched the couturier in 2007 with his now infamous curve-hugging bandage dresses that immediately became a red carpet staple (hi, Kim Kardashian and fam!).

In 2008, he debuted a younger, contemporary line, BCBGeneration, with the help of his oldest daughter, Joyce. But by 2016, the BCBGMAXAZRIA Group was dealing with financial troubles and Azria left the company. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection the following year and was ultimately acquired by Marquee Brands.

A newly reimagined BCBGMAXAZRIA celebrated its 30th anniversary in January 2019 with the release of its spring-summer 2019 Modern Goddess campaign starring Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. In an effort to revitalize the brand’s image, celeb stylist Kate Young has joined as creative consultant alongside creative director Bernd Kroeberof. The late founder’s wife, Lubov, meanwhile, serves as creative director of the BCBGMAXAZRIA Group.

Azria is survived by his wife and six children.

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Max Azria over the years
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Max Azria over the years
Max Azria of the BCBG Max Azria clothing line in his Los Angeles office. With critically claimed collections and a loyal following of Hollywood's top celebrities, BCBG Max Azria, Azria Group has evolved into one of the hottest names in the fashion industry today. (Photo by Evan Hurd/Corbis via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 13: (L-R) Joyce Azria, CEO BCBG Max Azria and wife Lubov Azria attend the 2013 Los Angeles Police Department South Los Angeles PAAL Awards Gala at Peterson Automotive Museum on November 13, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for LAPD)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Max Azria and Lubov Azria attend HERVE LEGER by MAX AZRIA Spring 2011 Collection at The Theatre on September 14, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by CLINT SPAULDING/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Designers Max Azria and Lubov Azria walk the runway at the Herve Leger by Max Azria Spring Summer 2016 during the New York Fashion Week on September 12, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Max Azria of the BCBG Max Azria clothing line at a meeting in his Los Angeles office. With critically claimed collections and a loyal following of Hollywood's top celebrities, BCBG Max Azria, Azria Group has evolved into one of the hottest names in the fashion industry today. (Photo by Evan Hurd/Corbis via Getty Images)
Max Azria of the BCBG Max Azria clothing line fits a model in his Los Angeles office. With critically claimed collections and a loyal following of Hollywood's top celebrities, BCBG Max Azria, Azria Group has evolved into one of the hottest names in the fashion industry today. (Photo by Evan Hurd/Corbis via Getty Images)
- DECEMBER 4: Max Azria and Lubov Azria attend Eva Mendes with Max and Lubov Azria Host LA Event at Los Angeles on December 4, 2006. (Photo by Andreas Branch/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Max Azria during Hollywood Life's 4th Annual Breakthrough of the Year Awards - After Party at Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage for Star Magazine)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 08: (UK OUT) Designer Max Azria walks the runway at the BCBG Max Azria Spring 2007 fashion show during Olympus Fashion Week at the Tent in Bryant Park September 8, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Karl Prouse/Catwalking/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 11: Designer Max Azria attends the 2nd annual H.E.L.P. Malawi fundraising event at BCBG Max Azria on November 11, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 11: Actress Zoe Saldana (L) and designer Max Azria attend the 2nd annual H.E.L.P. Malawi fundraising event at BCBG Max Azria November 11, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Killian/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - SEPTEMBER 9: Lubov Azria and Max Azria attend BCBG MAX AZRIA GROUP Fashion Week Dinner at Mr. Chow on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by CHANCE YEH/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - SEPTEMBER 9: Max Azria attends BCBG MAX AZRIA GROUP Fashion Week Dinner at Mr. Chow on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by CHANCE YEH/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Max Azria attends a cocktail reception in honor of the artists in The Artist's Museum at a private residence on November 4, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/WireImage)
Max Azria (L) and Lisa Love attend a cocktail reception in honor of the artists in The Artist's Museum at a private residence on November 4, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: (L-R) Max Azria, Model backstage at HERVE LEGER by MAX AZRIA Spring 2011 Collection at The Theatre on September 14, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by CLINT SPAULDING/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 11: Max Azria arrives at the The Hollywood Reporter's Women In Entertainment Breakfast Honoring Oprah Winfrey at Beverly Hills Hotel on December 11, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 13: CEO BCBG Max Azria attends the 2013 Los Angeles Police Department South Los Angeles PAAL Awards Gala at Peterson Automotive Museum on November 13, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for LAPD)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 13: (L-R) Joyce Azria, CEO BCBG Max Azria and wife Lubov Azria attend the 2013 Los Angeles Police Department South Los Angeles PAAL Awards Gala at Peterson Automotive Museum on November 13, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for LAPD)
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