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Two weeks ago, it was announced that Lubov Azria was out as the chief creative officer of the bankrupt BCBG Max Azria brand.
But Max Azria, who founded the label in Vernon, California-based label in 1989, and his wife are saying not so fast.
On Tuesday, the Azrias filed a lawsuit against BCBG Max Azria Global Holdings LLC in the bankruptcy court in New York’s Southern District over Lubov’s termination. They claim that employment was guaranteed as part of the initial February 2015 Restructuring plan, which was agreed upon by all parties out of court, in which the couple handed over their sole equity in the company for a 20 percent minority stake in return for $135 million cash infusion from Guggenheim partners.
The plaintiffs claim that “as an integral part of the complete bargain, the Azrias were promised long-term employment and a measure of continued control over the enterprise, with Max Azria remaining as chief executive officer for a period of time (to be followed by his tenure as Founder and Head of International Strategy) and Lubov Azria remaining as chief creative officer.”
In a separate restructuring plan filed earlier this month, BCBG Global Holdings LLC. announced Lubov’s departure, adding that the fashion vet’s role was “not necessary to BCBG’s ongoing operations.” (Ouch.) Azria was replaced by Bernd Kroebr, a Donna Karan alum who had been with the company for 10 years. In addition to Lubov’s termination, the company announced the closure of all its stores in order to shift its focus to e-commerce and wholesale.
In the suit, the couple take issue with the fact that specific aspects of the February 2015 restructuring were followed through with, while others (namely their employment) were not. A hearing is set for next week.
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Taraji P. Henson