Industry Icons: Our exclusive interview with designer Lubov Azria for Hervé Léger by Max Azria

"Fashion to me represents a different thing- the strength of a woman."  -Lubov Azria

Do you remember that line in the movie Bride Wars 'You do not alter a Vera (Wang) to fit you, you alter yourself to fit Vera.'? Such is the reputation held by many a couture label. However in the case of Hervé Léger by Max Azria, it is designed for the real woman, and that is what we LOVE about this cutting-edge fashion house. 

Neiman Marcus Fashion Island hosted a stunning event with a runway show highlighting dresses and fine apparel from Hervé Léger by Max Azria while each look was narrated by Chief Creative Officer, Lubov Azria. The breathtaking Ukranian-born fashionista explained how her influences for the collection came from nature as well as the powerful women from James Bond 007 movies who knew how to make a statement while looking effortless.

On our radar: the Morgan strapless studded sheath

On our radar: the Morgan strapless studded sheath

She was also in house to promote the Hervé Léger by Max Azria Barbie, sold exclusively at Neiman Marcus. Our mouths dropped as models took turns down the catwalk in sexy sheath dresses, floor-length gowns, and luxe track pants. Included in the mix were real-life versions of the dresses chosen for Barbie, in case you'd like to match her of course! 

The floor length 'Alenis' gown in this season's hottest hue

The floor length 'Alenis' gown in this season's hottest hue

The final walk showcases details in the collection such as embellishments and animal prints.

The final walk showcases details in the collection such as embellishments and animal prints.

After the show, we sat down with Lubov for a one-on-one interview to find out why she chose to collaborate with Barbie, and her favorite part about working with her husband and fashion mogul, Max Azria of BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP

FF: How did you get started in the fashion industry?

LA: I used to be a prima ballerina in the Ukraine. We immigrated to the United States when I was 12 and I’ve always had a passion for art and for dance. In terms of fashion design, I kind of fell into it. I wanted to be an art historian, and fashion to me represents a different thing- the strength of a woman. I design clothes that I want to wear, not to impress other people, but clothes that make me feel beautiful and empowered.

FF: How did the collaboration with Barbie come about? How did you choose the outfit?

LA: The collaboration was very natural. They called us up and asked if we were interested and we said 'of course'. Barbie is iconic and so is Hervé Léger by Max Azria. We wanted the first dress to be a signature dress of the brand. We had first thought of it being black, but it just blended in, so red was second, it is the color of power and is such a statement. We liked the harness on it (by the way it’s the world’s smallest) and the next dress was from our runway show. So she has both a high fashion and classic look. The boots and accessories are fantastic, and the dresses are made in the same factory as the Hervé Léger by Max Azria dresses so it's authentic. We wanted to focus on giving the real thing to the customer and we wanted to give Barbie something she never had. When you think about playing with the a Barbie, (by the way they didn't have Barbie dolls in Ukraine so I was 12 when I first came across them) the clothes were so cheaply made so my first thing was that we’re going to make her really amazing and iconic. 

Herve Leger by Max Azria Barbie is available exclusively at Neiman Marcus

Herve Leger by Max Azria Barbie is available exclusively at Neiman Marcus

The 'Judith' dress is a life size version. Both are made in the same factory.

The 'Judith' dress is a life size version. Both are made in the same factory.

FF: What is it like to work along side your spouse (Max Azria) and run a global brand together? 

LA: Amazing. You have someone you trust, it’s fantastic. It also helps that his office is way on the other side of the building (laughs). But it’s great to have Max who is a visionary. He’s global and I’m very detail-oriented so it works. 

FF: What are some of the key pieces every woman should have in her wardrobe for the season?

LA: A woman should dress based on her body shape and what looks good on her. For me, the track pants and cropped tops are fantastic. But I think texture and a little bit of bling is always good. It’s not a must, it’s a want. Nobody needs more clothes.

The 'Rowe' hooded fur jacket and 'Shawn' track pants are favorites this season.

The 'Rowe' hooded fur jacket and 'Shawn' track pants are favorites this season.

FF: How did you come up with the banded design?

LA: We acquired the Hervé Léger couture house and the bandages were there, but it took us 6-7 years to really figure out how the very special technique is done, and how it really sort of sucks you in and molds to your body. It’s the only true innovation in fashion because everything else is cut and sewn. This is truly a knit. 

The 'Amee' ombre dress takes 30 hours to make as the individual bands are pinned and sewn by hand.

The 'Amee' ombre dress takes 30 hours to make as the individual bands are pinned and sewn by hand.

FF: Do you have a celebrity muse or someone you would like to see wearing Hervé Léger by Max Azria?

LA: I really go for the real woman. I want women to celebrate themselves and I believe there’s nothing that fits a woman better than a Hervé Léger by Max Azria dress!

Our sincerest appreciation to Lubov Azria for giving us a behind-the-scenes look at her life as a designer, wife, and industry icon. You can view and purchase the Hervé Léger by Max Azria collection at Neiman Marcus, and make sure to pick up your Hervé Léger by Max Azria Barbie before they are sold out!

myself and Lubov Azria in the 'Alexis' A-line scroll-jacquard studded dress.

myself and Lubov Azria in the 'Alexis' A-line scroll-jacquard studded dress.