About

Leon Max (born Leonid Maxovich Rodovinski) is a Russian-born American fashion designer and retailer.

Leon was the son of a playwright born in 1954 in what was then known in the Soviet Union as Leningrad. He attended an English school and read the novels of F Scott Fitzgerald. On leaving school he became an apprentice in costume and set design with the Kirov Ballet aged 16, by 18 realized that the only way he could improve his lot was to flee Soviet Russia.

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. He worked for New York fashion house Tahari, and then Los Angeles based Bis, a women’s sportswear firm.

Max started Max Studio in 1979, and has over 7,000 points of sale.

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. The eventual stores employed an evolved version of this aesthetic developed by architect George Yu Morphosis alumni.

Max is married to American model Ame Austin (born 1976).

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

In 2005, the couple bought Easton Neston in Northamptonshire, England from Lord Hesketh for L15 million. They converted the 10,000 sq ft (1,000 m2) of the fire damaged Wren wing of the house, plus the out buildings which were the home of failed Formula One team Hesketh Racing into their European business base. The remaining main house become their English country home for six months of the year, where they had been welcomed by a gift from Lord Hesketh - a bottle of vodka.

Who Wears It

Gwyneth Paltrow, Katie Holmes, Angelina Jolie

Ready for the next big name?
A central authority of fashion.