Hervé L. Leroux, known as Hervé Léger, dies

Hervé Peugnet, better known as Hervé Léger Leroux, has died aged nearly 60, FashionNetwork.com has learnt from a press release. According to those close to him, the cause of death was an aneurysm. The French designer, renowned for his siren-like bandage dresses, worn by Karen Mulder, Naomi Campbell and many Hollywood stars, had decided last May to put his latest label, Hervé L. Leroux, on ice.
 
Hervé Peugnet, known as Hervé Léger - AFP

"After this wonderful, 17-year-long adventure, I need to reflect, and to infuse my style with fresh zest. I feel I must develop my creativity along new avenues, working with other luxury industry players, and to conceive a new project for my label," he wrote in a press release at the time.
 
As a fashion designer, Peugnet was self-taught, having been a hairdresser and a milliner, until he crucially met Karl Lagerfeld, becoming his assistant at Fendi and Chanel. In 1985, after working as a designer at Lanvin too, he launched a solo career with his own women's ready-to-wear label, Hervé Léger. It was an instant success. The label notably attracted the attention of Canadian group Seagram, which became a financial partner. With Seagram as an investor, Hervé Léger grew rapidly, gaining worldwide renown and employing a staff of 60.
 
The fairy tale ended abruptly in 1998, when Seagram sold the Hervé Léger label to BCBG Max Azria. A year later, Peugnet was dismissed and lost the rights to the name. He did not give up however, and in 2000 he created a new label, called Hervé L. Leroux, and opened a store in Paris at 32 Rue Jacob.
 
Hervé Peugnet began operating again with a small staff, and in this second venture he concentrated chiefly on his couture and gown work, focusing on draped, sculpted silhouettes. As for his ready-to-wear line, which was distributed by several retailers, it was abandoned in the aftermath of the 9/11 and 2008 crises, as Peugnet himself told the AFP agency a few years ago.
 
In 2013, the designer was back in the limelight, featuring on Paris' official Haute Couture calendar and showcasing his clothes at the Colette concept store.

His funeral service will take place Friday 13 October at the Saint Germain church in Paris at 10.30AM.
 

Translated by Nicola Mira

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