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 175 BCBG boutiques the US and some 20 countries worldwide. The brand is also carried by specialty stores and major department stores. Azria,who owns the company, is working to restructure its debt and is said to be exploring a potential sale.
Change in Company Type
BCBG Max Azria Group in 2013 was reported to be exploring a sale that could fetch as much as $1 billion. The company retained Blackstone Group to advise it on its debt restructuring. (The company's rapid expansion has saddled it with some $685 million in debt, amid falling sales.) The fashion house has been under financial pressure since the 2008 financial crisis. Financial Services firm Guggenheim Partners holds about $475 million of the company's approximately $685 million in debt and in mid-2013 was seeking wrest control of the company from Azria.
The California-based company sells its ready-to-wear apparel in more than 175 BCBG Max Azria boutiques across the US. It also has a retail presence in about 45 other countries, including Canada, Russia, Chile, China, Japan, Venezuela, and other counties in Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and South America. In 2013 the fashion chain opened stores in Indonesia and Mexico.
BCBG Max Azria generates more than $1 billion in sales annually.
Extending its reach to new apparel categories, BCBGeneration launched an intimates collection for fall 2013 and a swimwear collection to be sold in department stores worldwide and through BCBGeneration stores. The launches follow the signing of a new licensing agreement between the company and Trimera Group, its licensee for swimwear.
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 (aka Miley & Max), which features tops, bottoms, rompers, and dresses -- all for less than $20 apiece. The line, which was sold exclusively through Wal-Mart, was a disappointment and the company discontinued it.