A timeline of the company’s history.
This story first appeared in the April 30, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
1983: Max Azria arrives in Los Angeles from France and begins building businesses in fashion and retail.
1989: BCBG Max Azria is founded.
1991: Lubov Azria, Max’s wife, joins the company.
1993: The first BCBG Max Azria boutique opens, in Los Angeles.
1995: The company stages its first runway show for spring 1996.
■ The company’s first international store opens in Montreal.
■ Women’s footwear launches.
1996: Lubov Azria is named creative director of the Group. BCBG contemporary collection volume hits $74 million.
■ The firm buys Francine Browner, a Los Angeles apparel firm.
■ Three freestanding BCBG stores open in Japan.
1997: BCBG Max Azria Jeans launches, with its first deliveries slated to hit retail in February 1998.
■ BCBG swimwear, eyewear and BCBG.com launch.
■ Max Azria wins the California Mart’s Fashion Performance award.
1998: As part of its diversification strategy, BCBG agrees with GH Mumm & Cie, a subsidiary of The Seagram Co. Ltd., to buy its 95 percent stake in French fashion house Hervé Léger, which has a volume of about $10 million.
■ BCBG enlists Shalom Harlow for its fall ad campaign for the flagship brand. The $200 million company spends $7 million on the campaign.
■ BCBG launches a dress division.
■ The company counts 68 U.S. boutiques, and 10 international shops in Canada, Japan and Israel, and a BCBG flagship opens in Venezuela.
1999: Hervé Léger introduces its first fragrance, a namesake scent, in Paris.
■ Two BCBG shops open on the Right Bank in Paris, a small one on Rue Saint-Honoré and a major store that includes a restaurant just off Place de la Madeleine.
■ BCBG Max Azria flagships open in San Francisco, Malaysia and Singapore.
■ Designer Hervé Léger leaves his namesake fashion house. Jerome Dreyfuss makes his debut as couturier, as the house presents on the official couture schedule in July.
■ BCBG Women’s handbags and leather goods collections are introduced.
2001: Stores open in Santiago, Chile; in Bahrain, and on Rodeo Drive.
■ Eveningwear launches.
■ Four fragrances make their debut.
2002: Athens and Lisbon stores open. The renovated Madison Avenue store reopens with 6,000 square feet over five stories.
2003: Bridesmaids collection bows.
2004: Max Azria Atelier launches, along with the BCBG Max Azria signature handbag collection.
■ The company opens 400 in-store shops.
■ Men’s shirts launch under the BCBG Max Azria and BCBG-Attitude labels.
■ BCBG’s first shop in the Middle East opens in Kuwait City.
■ The Group buys Paris line Dorothée Bis.
2005: Women’s outerwear and watches and an optical line for men and women make their debuts.
■ Jessica Stam appears in BCBG’s ad campaign, shot by Patrick Demarchelier.
■ A 5,600-square-foot flagship opens in Beverly Hills, and stores bow in Moscow and Amman, Jordan.
■ Firming its expansion plans for Europe, the group acquires French sportswear company and retailer Alain Manoukian SA for $78.5 million.
■ BCBG buys the Don Algodón chain of stores in Spain. The chain is ultimately phased out.
2006: BCBG wins the bankruptcy court bid for G+G Retail, operator of stores under the G+G and Rave nameplates.
■ Carrefour and BCBG Max Azria Group sign a deal for BCBG to showcase a collection in the women’s ready-to-wear category, for fall 2007, at Carrefour hypermarkets in France, Greece, Spain, Belgium, Italy and Portugal. The Tex by Max Azria line ultimately closes in 2009.
■ The Max Azria label bows; a store for the brand opens in New York’s SoHo.
2007: E-commerce launches on BCBG.com.
■ A 12,000-square-foot flagship opens on Fifth Avenue, and a 3,200-square-foot concept shop opens on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.
■ Concept Hervé Léger boutique opens on Rodeo Drive.
2008: The first Hervé Léger by Max Azria runway show, and boutiques for the brand open in Dallas and Geneva.
■ BCBGeneration launches.
2009: The first six BCBG Max Azria stores open in Germany.
■ The Cashmere Gold collections launches to mark the company’s 20th anniversary.
■ BCBG Max Azria launches the fragrance Within.
■ The company collaborates with Miley Cyrus to create a line for Wal-Mart called Miley & Max Azria.
2010: BCBG opens a 3,200-square-foot store on Kings Road in London.
■ Lubov Azria becomes a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
■ Reports start to circulate that the company is looking for an investor or strategic alliance.
■ Max Azria and private investor Nicolas Berggruen acquire the insolvent German department store Karstadt. Azria’s stake is 20 percent, and he says the now debt-free chain is projected to earn $180 million in profit on $4.5 billion in sales for the year.
■ Hervé Léger Femme and Homme fragrances launch with Avon.
■ BCBG Max Azria Bridal Collection, including accessories and shoes, is introduced.
■ BCBGeneration opens its first stores, in three California locations, and launches jewelry.
■ Four Hervé Léger stores open in the U.S. and seven more open abroad, pushing the worldwide door count to 19.
2011: BCBG Max Azria namesake fragrance launches.
■ BCBGeneration denim bows.
■ Hervé Léger footwear is introduced.
■ The group refinances in a $230 million deal.
■ The Max Rave chain liquidates.
2012: BCBGeneration’s first Canadian store opens.
■ Bon Chic fragrance launches with new licensee Elizabeth Arden.
■ The group signs two licenses for its BCBG and BCBGeneration lines: outerwear with Herman Kay and hats and scarves with Collection 18, both launching for spring 2013.
2013: BCBGeneration opens a store in Surabaya, Indonesia.
■ BCBG opens at Plaza Altabrisa, Mexico.
■ Swimwear launches for BCBG Max Azria and Hervé Léger.
■ The company hires Blackstone Group to identify possible investors, looking for ways to refinance its debt. An arm of Guggenheim Partners owns the majority of BCBG’s debt. A new equity deal, plus the debt Guggenheim already holds — about $475 million of the total $675 million in debt, divided into three tranches — would essentially give the financial services firm majority ownership in BCBG, although Azria is likely to retain a small ownership stake and creative control of the brands under its portfolio.
2014: BCBG Max Azria Group marks 25 years in business, and launches a 25th anniversary collection.