Hervé Léger (Leroux), 1957 – 2017

Hervé Leger with model wearing a bandage dress at his last 1998 runway show

Hervé L. Leroux, born Hervé Peugnet, founder of the French fashion house Hervé Léger died earlier today.

Hervé Peugnet was born May 30, 1957 and trained in sculpture and hair styling before switching to fashion design. He was doing hair for a Chloé fashion show when he was hired by Karl Lagerfeld to work at Fendi and later Chanel. When he founded his own business in 1985 Lagerfeld suggested he change his last name to Léger because Peugnet was too difficult for Americans, his target market, to pronounce.

Cindy Crawford wearing a LBD version of the bandage dress in 1998

Léger and fellow designer Azzedine Alaïa pioneered the ‘bod-con’ look of the 1990s. Léger’s iconic bandage dress, using knitted lycra strips sewn together to make girdle-like dresses that molded to the wearer’s figure debuted in 1989 and were hugely successful by 1993.

Hervé Léger was acquired by the American owned BCBG Max Azria of the Seagram Group in September 1998. Hervé lost the rights to use his own name and changed his surname to Leroux for the new label he started in 2000. He was also the creative director of Guy Laroche from 2004 – 2006.

Lubov Azria, wife of Max Azria, revived the bandage dress in 2007 after learning how the dresses were constructed by buying back examples on eBay for the company’s archives. BCBG Max Azria went bankrupt earlier this year.

Hervé L. Leroux was 60 years of age when he passed unexpectedly.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
This entry was posted in Designers/Couturiers. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *