It’s time to say au revoir to daddy-daughter duo Joyce and Max Azria. As former creative director of the contemporary BCBGeneration line, Joyce is finally calling quits to the family business as she launches her own line, Avec Les Filles.
After taking a job designing BCBG’s swimwear line straight out of college, Joyce moved up the family ranks by becoming the creative director for the younger ‘Generation’ brand in 2009. This solo career movement is the BCBG baby’s first flight from the family nest, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
For Joyce is not the only Azria on her way out of the BCBG empire. This past March, Max stepped down from his chief executive officer position at BCBGMaxAzria Group, relinquishing his majority stakeholder position to Guggenheim Partners. With daddy on the fritz, perhaps it was time for Joyce to try things on her own.
“Everything was changing,” Azria tells WWD. “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.”
Her new line, Avec Les Filles, targets the modern millennial woman. A woman who, like Joyce, is testing the waters of independence while searching for an ultra-chic wardrobe to do so. According to Joyce, she’s a woman who is unafraid to indulge in life’s finer things, and while on a budget, will find a way to a new pair of Jimmy Choos.
As a result, Azria’s brand will not start at the typical millennial price, to which she says, “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.”
Avec Les Filles spring 2017 collection is set to launch this week at Los Angeles Market. The collection will include higher end products like leather bags, jackets and fine jewelry while shoes, hats, scarves and hosiery make up the more moderately priced category. Prices will range from $18 to $600. And when questioned about the rather large retail gap, Azria explained, “Girls shop high and low, and retailers can decide where certain products work for them.”
Speaking of working for them, Joyce’s French-inspired fashion brand is a continuation of BCBG’s initial intent 30 years ago. ‘Bon chic, Bon genre,’ meaning ‘good style, good attitude.’ Max Azria began a movement of fashion by the designer, a face for consumers to identify as the driving force behind their outfit choices. Joyce’s Avec Les Filles, meaning ‘With the Girls,’ carries the same sentiment of transparency and commitment to the customer.
Azria says, “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.”
Like any solo career, there has to be some hesitation. And with a renowned family like the BCBG clan, critics wonder just how talented Joyce Azria is on her own merit. To this, Joyce does not rebuke her family’s influence or negate their shaping of the woman she is today:
“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.”
Azria is excited for the brand and anxious to debut her work, sharing a token of advice she still carries from her father, “He always said ‘In fashion if you’re not going to take a risk, then you are dead before you’ve started.’”
We’re equally anxious to see Joyce Azria’s risk come to life this week as she launches her Avec Les Filles collection. Will we see remnants of the beloved BCBGeneration brand? Or will we witness an entirely unique, breakout career begin?
With Serge Azria (Joyce’s uncle) as the owner of Joie, Joyce’s stepmother the creative director of Hervé Leger and the fashion mogul that is dear old dad – we’re thinking successful contemporary fashion simply runs in the family.
Featured Image via Flickr/ bargainmoose