Its name may come from Parisian slang (bon chic, bon genre, meaning "good style, good attitude"), but fashion firm BCBG Max Azria Group is rooted in America. French designer Max Azria started BCBG in Los Angeles, making his name with the novel baby-doll dress, and now creates clothing collections and accessories for women and men under more than 20 brands, including BCBGMAXAZRIA, Max Azria, Herve Leger, and BCBGeneration. His apparel and accessories are sold in more than 550 BCBG boutiques the US and some 20 countries worldwide. The brand is also carried by specialty stores and in-store shops in major department stores (such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's, Harvey Nichols, and Mitsukoshi). Azria owns the company.
In recent years BCBG Max Azria looked to extend its reach to different price points to capture a broader slice of the market. To that end, the fashion firm in 2009 teamed up with Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus to create the Miley Cyrus & Max Azria collection, which features tops, bottoms, rompers, and dresses -- all for less than $20 apiece. The line is sold exclusively through Wal-Mart. However, amid falling sales and credit woes, in early 2011 the firm shut down its mass market Max Rave business, which also sold selected pieces through the mega-retailer. The shutdown of the Max Rave business threw the future of Miley Cyrus & Max Azria line in doubt.
The global fashion house is also finding a role for itself in turnarounds. In 2010 it partnered with billionaire investor Nicolas Berggruen, who won control of the failed Karstadt department store chain in Germany from Arcandor. Through their partnership, Berggruen is relying upon BCBG for its merchandising expertise and robust procurement network to stock Karstadt stores with more stylish inventory. – less