CHRISTIAN’S NEW GIG: Contemporary designer brand Hervé Léger, best known for its body-con “bandage” dresses, has a new creative director: Christian Juul Nielsen.
According to Nielsen’s LinkedIn profile, he also has served as the creative director at advanced contemporary brand Land of Distraction since November 2016. It is understood that he will continue at the startup brand while bringing a shot of energy to the Hervé Léger brand. The latter was part of the BCBG portfolio owned by Max Azria until the company fell on hard times and found itself in bankruptcy proceedings last year. Brand management firm Marquee Brands acquired the BCBG trademarks — including Hervé Léger — and then sold the Hervé Léger brand to Authentic Brands Group. ABG is also a brand management firm.
The profile also said Nielsen’s past stints include senior designer, women’s wear, at Christian Dior; consulting design director at J.Mendel; design director for Oscar de la Renta, and designer for Nina Ricci. Sources said he has been working on the new Hervé Léger line since the summer in preparation for a presentation at New York Fashion Week next month.
The brand Hervé Léger began as a couture-only business founded by Hervé Peugnet in 1985. It was Karl Lagerfeld who had advised him to change his surname to Léger, believing it would be easier for Americans to pronounce. The house ventured into ready-to-wear in 1993, and its legendary “bandage” dresses were an immediate hit. The house also launched a cruise collection.
In 1994, Seagram Co. Ltd.’s Paris-based Champagne G.H. Mumm & Cie division took a 50 percent stake in the firm. Azria acquired a 99 percent stake in the company in October 1998, and then ousted Léger in April 1999. The brand went on hiatus until 2007, when Azria and his wife Lubov relaunched it at retail and then showcased the new Hervé Léger by Max Azria line at New York Fashion Week in February 2008.