Leon Max

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Leon Max (born 1954 in Saint Petersburg, Russia[citation needed]) is a Russian-born American fashion designer and retailer.


Early life

Leon was born Leonid Maxovich Rodovinski[citation needed] born in 1954 in Leningrad, Soviet Union (now Saint Petersburg, Russia).[citation needed] The son of a playwright, he attended an English school and read the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald.[citation needed] On leaving school he became an apprentice in costume and set design with the Kirov Ballet aged 16, by 18 realised that the only way he could improve his lot was to flee Soviet Russia.[citation needed]

Changing his name to Leon Max by taking his fathers first name as his surname, Max enrolled at the New York Fashion Institute of Technology.[citation needed] He worked for New York fashion house Tahari, and then Los Angeles-based Bis, a women’s sportswear firm.[citation needed]

Max Studio

Max started Max Studio in 1979, and has over 7,000 points of sale.[citation needed]

An upmarket fashion chain, Max Studio sells through department stores.[citation needed] It also has 46 of its own retail stores in the U.S and another 50 in the Far East.[citation needed]

In the boom years of the mid-1980s, Max commissioned avant-garde architecture firm Morphosis — then known for sharp edged constructionist compositions — to design a showroom in LA.[citation needed] The eventual stores employed an evolved version of this aesthetic developed by LA architecture firm Design Office.[citation needed]

In November 2011 Katia Elizarova was announced as Max Studio's new face and ambassador,[1][2] replacing past faces of the brand Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Lily Cole.[3][4][5]

Personal life

Max is married to American model Ame Austin (born 1976).[citation needed]

The couple are regarded as architectural connoisseurs,[6] and have previously lived in a Greene and Greene house, as well as one designed by modernist American architect Richard Neutra.[citation needed] They are currently awaiting the planning permission on a 11,500 sq ft (1,070 m2) futuristic cliff side home at Malibu.[citation needed]

In 2005, the couple bought Easton Neston in Northamptonshire, England from Lord Hesketh for £15 million.[7][8] They converted the 10,000 sq ft (1,000 m2) of the fire damaged Wren wing of the house (mistakeny attributed to Christopher Wren[8]), plus the out buildings which were the home of defunct Formula One team Hesketh Racing into their European business base.[8] The remaining main house become their English country home for six months of the year,[9] where they had been welcomed by a gift from Lord Hesketh — a bottle of vodka.[8]


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