BCBG's Lubov Azria On Skin, Style, & Why Conservative Can Be Chic

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What does it take to be a full-time (and mega-successful) designer, mom, art aficionado, and world traveler (who also happens to be insanely gorgeous)? If you're Lubov Azria, nothing more than the work-life balance you've already mastered. The designer was in town last week to showcase the BCBG Max Azria pre-fall '12 collection during a luncheon at Adour, and we were lucky enough to snag a few minutes to pick her brain. We got the scoop on her current reading list, her skincare regimen, how she manages a creative partnership with her husband, Max, and why our city's conservative reputation isn't such a bad thing. Read on for the full scoop.
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Tell us a bit about the pre-fall collection.
"Part of it is in stores now, and part of it will come in in the next two weeks. The collection is inspired by a modern gypsy — very bohemian, Slavic influences. And also the idea of mixing lingerie with active sports, and giving it that little edge with harnesses."
What are you most excited about for the fall season?
"Texture!"
Where do you find your inspiration?
"Everywhere, actually. It's people that I see on the street, or something I read. Sometimes it's travel, but the majority of the time it's art. I'm a huge art addict — I go to galleries and flea markets, find things I like, and put them together."
So, if you weren't a designer, you'd be an artist in a different medium?
"Absolutely!"
Do you have any artistic hobbies that you like to do when you're not designing?
"There are a lot of things I like to do — art is great, but I think I'm more of a curator than an artist. I love scavenger hunts. I just love going out there and discovering things — that's one of my biggest hobbies, and since I have five daughters, it's really fun."
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What's your creative process like?
"Max is a visionary — he has a concept, an idea, and I'm more about taking that idea and making it into something that's tangible."
What's your one piece of advice that anyone could use to instantly become more stylish?
"Oh, I think confidence. And great skin, too. People forget and think makeup can cover up problems, but you really need to take care of your skin. It shows how healthy you are."
Do you have any great skin-care advice?
"Drink a lot of water. Also, exercise is so important for your skin. And, I have to say, I love Korean spas. They really know how to take care of skin, and they do these amazing scrubs. You come out of there like a brand-new baby."
In D.C., work environments can be pretty conservative. Is there any advice you can give to women who want to feel more stylish at work?
"That's what I keep on hearing. 'Conservative' is such an over-used word —I think of it to mean you're hiding behind something. You can put on a black jacket and a gray dress underneath and look great. It's a state of mind more than a dress code. I don't think sexy clothes are appropriate for work, but between sexy and conservative, there are miles and miles of amazing clothes."
Photographed by Rachel Platner
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