Well hello there, it’s just me hanging out with BCBGMAXAZRIA‘s creative director, Lubov Azria, at their NYC HQ, no big deal! Except that, of course, it is a hugely amazing big deal and I’m still freaking out about it. A few weeks ago I was asked by BCBG to join them in New York City for the start of New York Fashion Week, the week being kicked off by their FW13 runway show. Like any normal human (with a fashion blog), I jumped at the chance immediately. Getting to poke around their HQ, interview the glamorous Lubov and attend the show, all in NYC? I’ll be honest, I read over their email multiple times to make sure I was reading things correctly.

Considering how busy Lubov is, especially in the run up to fashion week (not to mention the day before her show), I was so grateful she was able to make time in her schedule to sit down and chat with me. Just to give you an idea, here’s what Lubov told me her typical work day consists of:

“On a typical day I get up in the morning, work out, have some breakfast, and drive to work. I start usually with our e-comm business, then have an open issues meeting (a meeting with production design.) People usually come in (to my office) for approvals and then I’ll go for the fitting and actually fit every single piece for BCBG and Herve Leger myself. The fitting is around 2 hours, and after that there’s marketing, PR comes in, then we have business reviews with buying. Then we have design. I like to work with design very late because I get creative much later in the day, but we have print approvals, fabric and design. In a typical day I have anywhere from 10-15 different appointments. It’s non stop, just go go go go.”

Are you exhausted just from reading that? I am. Ever since I found out that Puff Daddy only sleeps for 3 hours each night, I’ve always been intrigued by the sleeping habits of successful people. Naturally, I had to inquire about Lubov’s sleeping patterns and was surprised to find out that she is a huge advocate for meditation, starting and ending each day with her practice. “You’ve heard people, they’re like sleeping for 12 hours and they wake up and they’re exhausted. Because they were thinking of everything at night, their body didn’t rest. I know it sounds like an overused word but in reality 10 minutes or 20 minutes of meditation gives you more rest than hours of sleep.” says Lubov.

Aside from meditation, a few of the things that Lubov can’t live without in order to get through her busy schedule are : 1. Air“I can’t live without air, I have to breathe.” 2. Aquaphor Lip Repair - “I can’t think when my lips are dry.” 3. (Also her NYFW survival tip) Water – “Stay hydrated!”

Once Lubov was whisked away to carry on with her fittings, I decided to drag my blogging buddy, Jen Tam of HerWaiseChoice.com, a few blocks over to the BCBG store, even though she was wearing 5-inch stiletto heels.

Of course we made a pit stop along the way at Bryant Park to take some quick snaps of our outfits of the day, we are fashion bloggers after all. Here’s me in a bit of a grunge princess look, topped off with my beloved Steven Alan cashmere toque from Bird in Brooklyn that I unfortunately lost the next night after a dinner at Miss Lily’s. If you haven’t been to Miss Lily’s yet, I highly recommend you check it out as soon as possible. That is, if you like amazing Jamaican food and Beyonce blaring while you eat. Basically, my idea of heaven on earth. Also, if you find my hat there please return it.

To rest our heads before the early morning of the show the next day, we stayed at The Nomad Hotel in midtown. Quite possibly the most exquisite hotel I’ve been to in a very long time. First of all, everyone who runs the front desk must also double as a male fashion model. It felt like I’d stumbled into the backstage of a Dior Homme show rather than the hotel lobby . They were all super sweet and I ended up becoming BFFs with one in particular named Dee, who was the first to welcome me to the hotel and showed me up to my room.

The room. Now that is something to talk about, although it’s hard to put into words just how incredible it was.

 The next morning was a bright and early day filled with backstage madness and front row glamour. Of her show, Lubov said she was mainly inspired by a recent trip to Istanbul, “This (was) actually one of the few trips that I was really like WOW, this is different. I was so inspired  (and) took hundreds of pictures back to my design team.” With all of those rich colours and patterns, Lubov then looked to New York artist, Phil Frost, for inspiration in playing with layering patterns. Her other main source of inspiration was from Eastern European gypsies, “Gypsies kind of  have a negative connotation, but I think they’re kind of cool and edgy. They actually have a lot of great style.”

View the full BCBGMAXAZRIA FW13 show on Style.com

The show was exactly that; masterful layering of prints and textures. Considering almost every model marched down the runway wearing a beanie, leather, and oversized fur vest, staying within the general colour palette of black, blue and grey, I felt as though the entire collection had been designed specifically for me. It’s the epitome of street style-cool, donned by the well-travelled girl who shows it in the way she dresses. “I love the name of our company, ‘Bon Chic, Bon Genre’ good style, good attitude. Style is your personal way to show the world the way you are, it’s how they perceive you. It cannot be so much dictated, it has to be innate.” expresses Lubov on who the BCBG girl is.

Lubov with husband, Max Azria.

A few days after returning home I found a large box waiting for me. It was from BCBG, but what on earth could it be? I tore it open immediately. Inside, I found a personal note from Lubov, along with my own copy of The Quilts of Gee’s Bend. The book she confessed inspired her most for her spring/summer 2013 collection. I, in turn, admitted that I have a nerdy obsession with quilts and was supposed to start a quilting circle with my best friend’s mother this winter.

 Can you imagine? I nearly passed out on the floor after reading her note, staring at the book wide-eyed. I simply could not believe she would think of me for such a beautiful and thoughtful gift. But that is Lubov to a T, a complete surprise in all the best ways. In the midst of all the fashion madness, I expected to meet a tight-lipped, stressed out person that would have but a few seconds to spare with me. Even though with the realities of her schedule that might have been true, she made the time to sit down and chat. The woman I met was the complete opposite of what I thought she might be, she was so relaxed, warm, grounded, and incredibly ZEN. I think we all need to take a tip from Lubov and add meditation into our daily lives.

 Thank you for sharing FW13 with me BCBGMAXAZRIA! XO

(first two images provided by Jen Tam of HerWaiseChoice, all other images GracieCarroll.com)

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