Hervé Léger was founded in 1985 by the designer Hervé Peugnet (1957–2017). The same year Karl Lagerfeld advised Peugnet that his surname Peugnet would be too difficult for Americans, the target market, to pronounce, and instead suggested the surname Léger. Having lost the rights to the Hervé Léger name, Peugnet later took a third "brand" name as Hervé L. Leroux in 2000.
Peugnet pioneered the creation of so-called bandage dresses, so-called "body-con" (body-conscious) garments made using materials traditionally associated with foundation garments to create bandage dresses that would mold and shape the wearer's figure with its signature bandage-like strips.
One of the peculiarities of Hervé Léger garments is that they are knitted, not woven.
In September 1998, Hervé Léger was acquired by the BCBG Max Azria Group from the Seagram's Group. This was the first-ever acquisition of a French couturier by an American designer, though Azria is Tunisian and grew up in France. Ohana & Co., a boutique investment bank, advised Seagram's on the sale.
In April 2007, Max Azria relaunched the Hervé Léger brand under his own design direction with a capsule summer collection, which was offered at select department stores and specialty boutiques. In August 2007, the remodeled Hervé Léger boutique opened on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. In February 2008, Max Azria presented the Hervé Léger by Max Azria collection at Bryant Park during the Fall 2008 New York Fashion Week.
Hervé Léger stores can be found in various international locations, including Moscow.
- Susan Ashbrook Will Work for Shoes: The Business Behind Red Carpet Product Placement - 2011 "A few years after Herve Leger sold his company (and his name) to BCBG, he started over with a new fashion business called Hervé L. Leroux. His new name literally translates to "Hervé with red hair," which accurately describes the designer"
- Hervé L. Leroux escamote Hervé Léger 8 June 2000 "Il y a quinze ans, alors qu'il travaillait avec Karl Lagerfeld, aux tout premiers temps de la collaboration du couturier avec Chanel, Hervé Léger s'appelait encore Hervé Peugnet. Un nom imprononçable pour les Américains. Karl Lagerfeld lui suggère vivement d'en changer pour quelque chose de plus léger: «Pourquoi pas Hervé Léger?» Le temps de s'habituer à ce nouveau patronyme et le voilà qui fait son chemin et file vers la gloire en se forgeant une réputation grâce à ses fameuses robes bandelettes qui emballent si bien Karen Mulder, Naomi Campbell et les stars hollywoodiennes."
- Clinton, Leah Melby. "The History of the Bandage Dress, From 1994 to Now". Glamour. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
- "LA brands BCBG Max Azria and Hervé Léger plan London expansion". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2017-09-28.