LOS ANGELES — Joyce Azria has exited her post as creative director of BCBGeneration, the brand founded by her father Max Azria, to launch her own line, a contemporary brand aimed at Millennial women called Avec Les Filles.Joyce Azria, 35, began her fashion career designing swimwear for BCBG right out of college, and has been creative director of its young contemporary brand, known as “Generation,” since 2009. In May, she decided it was time to leave the family nest and branch out on her own. The timing was certainly right; in March, her father left the role of chief executive officer as BCBGMaxAzria Group’s majority stakeholder Guggenheim Partners took financial control of the company that Azria founded 30 years ago. Her stepmother, Lubov, is still creative director of the BCBG and Hervé Leger brands.“Everything was changing,” Azria said. “I had been super happy running Generation and seeing it grow, but it was very much from behind the veil of my father’s company. It was time to take a more primary role in my own brand.”Funded by non-family member, private equity investors, Avec Les Filles, meaning “with the girls” in French, provides Azria with a new platform to be the friendly fashion adviser for the Millennial fashion customer. It also combines the current vogue for French-inspired fashion (think Zadig & Voltaire, Sandro, Maje and Joie, the latter of which is owned by her uncle, Serge, and all of which take a page from BCBG’s French twist on fashion) and designer-led brands, where customers can identify with the actual person designing the products.Avec Les Filles' spring 2017 line will debut at Los Angeles market this week with a stable of accessories licenses, from shoes, bags and hosiery to hats, scarves and belts, even fine jewelry.“Most brands aimed at Millennials start around price, but we know that girls shop up for accessories. She can buy Chanel off Tradesy and get her clothes at Target. She’ll figure out a way to afford that Rebecca Minkoff bag," Azria said.She is savvy to the quickly changing shopping habits of young women, as well as the retail world’s need for new business models. Her line ranges in price from $18 up to $600 because “girls shop high and low, and retailers can decide where certain products work for them.”The higher range of product includes aspirational leather bags, shoes and jackets, as well as fine jewelry, which young women are also starting to self-purchase. “It’s been exciting to build a brand that is in sync with the pace of the actual customer. It’s disruptive on a large scale,” she said.Indeed, her years at BCBG and her connections in the Los Angeles apparel manufacturing world have enabled her to form high-level licensing and wholesale partnerships. The forthcoming apparel collection, launching with a web site in November, will be produced in-house and launch with one major retailer, to be revealed soon.“The trend of a celebrity-driven brand is waning. Millennials want a real connection with a designer-led brand, not actors or singers who have had other mediums for success,” Azria said.She also has a forthcoming book espousing her own Millennial “moral code” on family, fashion and food. A mother of three boys and two girls, she’s an avid foodie who enjoys sharing her latest discoveries on Instagram. She also touts her entrepreneurial friends including Clique Media Group's Katherine Power and Hello Giggles cofounder Sophia Rossi as her support network.As for her high-profile family, Azria said she’s proud of her “garmento” roots. “When people say, ‘Aren’t you worried people will think you got this far because of your family?’ I say, ‘I did. They taught me everything.' My parents are still sounding boards. I go to my uncle with every investor question. They are part of everything I do, but I had to take this one alone.”Her most important lesson still comes from her dad.“He always said 'In fashion if you’re not going to take a risk, then you are dead before you’ve started.' When he started BCBG there was only juniors and misses'. He took a risk creating contemporary clothes. Now women are informed and want the best product at the best price and they will get it wherever they find it — online or in store. The old doesn’t work anymore, everyone wants a change. I’m excited to break down the walls and see where this takes us.”
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.