French designer Hervé L. Leroux, who made the bandage dress a coveted staple among stars and socialites, has died at age 60.
WWD reports that the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode confirmed Leroux’s death on Friday. Leroux launched Herve Leger in 1985 and stopped designing under his name after BCBG Max Azria purchased the brand in 1999. Leroux later formed his label Leroux, but remained largely out of the fashion spotlight.
In the canon of nightlife fashion, his influence lives on in the singular Hervé Léger bandage dress and its many knockoff iterations. Its distinctly taut and seductive design has hugged the bodies of famous women and body-con-loving fashion fans over the years, hitting a mainstream peak in the late 2000s. The New York Times, in a piece about the “pour-me-into-it party dress” in 2007, noted that Leger’s thousand-dollar dresses “have been the hottest items at Intermix this fall, but similarly fitted dresses from Robert Rodriguez for under $500 and bandage skirts from Privee for $225 have also been popular.”
In a eulogy on Instagram, Dita Von Teese called Leroux a genius and “the only dressmaker that could accomplish a truly modern Madame Grès goddess gown.” “He made the most exquisite dresses that showcased a woman’s beauty, rather than distracting from it,” she wrote.
A designer for Hérve Léger (under Max Azria) was fired in 2015 for stating that “voluptuous” women shouldn’t wear bandage dresses.
There was a time when Kim Kardashian, keeper of bodycon ensembles, had to be pried away from a Hérve bandage dress.
The most visible Hervé enthusiast, Kim dedicated a blog post to her infatuation in 2016, writing, “I would literally save up all my paychecks and go wait, stalk the girls that worked at Hervé and just get all the new colors.” Her stylist, later on, had to toss about 30 bandage dresses from her closet during a style reinvention, and yet the silhouette endures. In fashion and pop culture, Leroux leaves behind a definitive image.