BCBGMaxAzria

BCBG Max Azria’s creative director didn’t have to look far for inspiration for his debut spring 2018 collection.

Bernd Kroeber, creative director of the BCBG Max Azria, BCBGeneration and Hervé Leger brands, will show his first BCBG collection Tuesday marking the brand’s return to New York Fashion Week.

“It’s so exciting,” Kroeber said Monday afternoon. “I feel so grateful and humbled and kind of nervous, too.”

For BCBG, it’s another move forward for the overall group following its sale out of bankruptcy in which Marquee Brands paid $108 million for the three brands’ intellectual property and Global Brands Group spent $27.4 million to buy the operations.

Kroeber was promoted to head design for all three of the company’s brands in March following the ouster of longtime creative director Lubov Azria and now leads the attempt to reinvent the contemporary fashion house as it seeks firmer footing within the design world.

The spring collection for BCBG, called “City of Angels,” Kroeber described as ethereal and sensual, but walking a number of fine lines between modernism and romanticism and hard and soft.

“BCBG spring 2018 I really wanted to give a tribute to our hometown Los Angeles and our effortless, contemporary roots,” Kroeber said. “BCBG’s a 29-year-old fashion leading company and really founded contemporary fashion, so I really wanted to go back to our roots.”

Kroeber will present 44 looks, which include jacquards, organdy, leather and embroidery. The gallery-like presentation will include 44 mannequins in addition to six models, walking throughout the audience.

“How I really see BCBG going forward, for me, I get inspired by three major pillars: romanticism, clarity and clean lines and streetwear. I want to mix and match those three influences together and give this beautiful BCBG contemporary look, which is very Los Angeles,” Kroeber said.

For fall, the creative director said, BCBG is considering a runway show of some sort that would put a new spin on the traditional presentation in a bid to “reinvent and reconnect with the customer and the audience.”

Kroeber also has his work cut out for him retooling BCBG’s sister brands: Hervé Leger, known for its skin-tight dresses, and the more youthfully minded BCBGeneration.

“The Hervé Leger woman is a very high-end customer. She’s very expressive and body-conscious and we pay tribute to this but, in new shoulder details and new proportions, amazing textures and dimension,” said Kroeber, adding the point is to not only reinvent the bondage dress for which the brand is known, but also show there’s more to the label than skin-tight eveningwear.

Some of that work is starting to show for spring, but a stronger statement for Hervé Leger will be made for fall, Kroeber said.

And for BCBGeneration, the brand represents an opportunity to be more experimental with styles in what Kroeber called a fashion laboratory for that customer to test new trends.

“[What’s] very important is that all three brands really differentiate from each other and have their own language and their own standing in the market,” Kroeber said. “This is what we really focus on.”

For More Spring 2018 Coverage in WWD:

ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo RTW Spring 2018

Re/Done RTW Spring 2018

Sandy Liang RTW Spring 2018