BCBGMAXAZRIA is starting the year on a high note following the bankruptcy proceedings, store closures and departure of founder Max Azria and his wife, BCBG's CEO and director, Lubov. The company is now under new management, and its spring 2019 campaign is proof of that. For its 30th anniversary, BCBGMAXAZRIA is moving into a new, fashion-forward direction with celebrity stylist Kate Young leading the way.
For Young, BCBG brings back fond memories of working at Vogue magazine. "A lot of us used to shop there," Young tells Refinery29. She and her colleagues would frequent the store on Madison Avenue. Young explains that at the time the store sold a lot of pieces they really loved at a price-point that wasn't so outrageous they couldn't afford it. "I had this three-layer transparent tulle dress that I really loved. I don’t have it anymore, I wish I still did."
She thinks BCBG's spring 2019 collection will stay with customers the same way. Young acted as creative consultant alongside creative director Bernd Kroeber who worked to present BCBG's new vision, starring multi-hyphenate Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. "To us... she’s the ideal BCBG woman," Young says of Rosie's involvement. "She’s a successful businesswoman, a mom, she’s so beautiful, and chic, you know. Her street style is so good. So I wanted the campaign to look like her. I want her to look at ease in it and feel good in it."
The suiting is among the standout pieces in the collection, Young says. "It's time for suits. Women are trying to find their power and voices and make them heard. Suits can really give you a lot of confidence. But they can also look sort of masculine and heavy and not natural at the same time. I really like the way the suits in this collection are feminine, trendy or stylish without losing their power."
Young also helps people claim their power on the red carpet during awards season, when she works with clients like Margot Robbie, Dakota Johnson, Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams, Sienna Miller. "The Oscars are my favourite award show to work with clients on — 100 percent," she tells Refinery29, breaking down the technical timeline.
"Because the Golden Globes takes place long after Fashion Month in September is over, the clothes have all been worn, the last couture show was in the summer, and during the holidays all of the European ateliers are closed," Young explains. "The amount of time between the announcements and the nominations and the actual awards is very short. So Globes can be quite stressful whereas Oscars, we have another couture show. We have at least New York and London ready-to-wear shows. We’ve also had some time," she says. "By the time someone is going to the Oscars, they’ve worn so many red carpet dresses, I start to get in a groove. I really know what a feeling is like and what’s working and what’s not. Oscar dresses are pretty much always custom. They’re made far in advance. They’re made by hand. It’s a much more controlled and well-thought out process than the Globes can sometimes be."
Young says she was attracted to working with BCBG because of Kroeber, the campaign's creative director. "We have a lot of the same fashion vernacular. I was excited to work with the brand because of it. I’m trying to bring [a more fashion-forward approach] to them. I hope it’s working."