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Herve Leger Puts a Harness on It

Posted Jul 08 2013 7:34am
Herve Leger Puts a Harness on It

When Max and Lubov Azria arrived at this year’s Billboard Music Awards, Lubov discovered she 

felt right at home. “It was incredible to see how many women at the show were wearing Hervé 

Léger dresses,” she recalls of the May event, which took place at the MGM Grand. “The whole 

night felt like an amazing compliment.”

One can only imagine how gratifying it is for any designer to enter a room and witness a crowd 

of women wearing your clothes. And for Hervé Léger by Max Azria, the pinnacle label among the 20 

brands owned by the BCBGMaxAzriaGroup, there may be no city more enamored of its signature body

-conscious bandage dresses than Las Vegas. Their strict-meets-sexy construction, crafted of 

equal parts architecture and the manipulation of those constraining yet comfortable bandages, 

never fails to bewitch the wearer. After all, what woman isn’t on the lookout for a dress that 

will effortlessly sculpt that which should be curvaceous and cinch or slim that which should 


Indeed, such an idea seems to top the wish list of innumerable women who seek out adventures 

that can only be found in a Las Vegas evening. “When you walk into a room wearing an Hervé 

Léger dress, automatically you’ve made a statement,” Lubov says. “And women in Las Vegas love 

to make an impression.”

The Ukranian-born Lubov trained with a renowned Russian ballet company as a child, but now 

serves as chief creative officer of the BCBGMaxAzriaGroup; she and the Tunisianborn Max, the 

company’s founder and CEO, celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary this year. Their working 

relationship is an easy one, she says— “Max is a visionary, and I’m about details.” After 

purchasing Hervé Léger from its namesake designer in 1998, Lubov proved her mettle for not 

rushing production, as it wasn’t until 2007 that the Azrias felt the time was right to debut 

what Lubov calls an aesthetic of “glamour and sensuality, one which maintains its couture 

heritage, but evolved through our Azria spirit.”
Their Fall 2012 collection is a particularly strong example of that idea: All the codes are 

there—the body-sculpting silhouettes, the painstaking work of the bandage placement—mingled 

with an equestrian vibe showcased through details such as cunning leather harnesses worn over 

dresses, just one element of what overall was some of the best leather detailing (a key trend of 

the season) on the Fall runways. “It’s a study in seduction and restraint,” Lubov says. “We 

know what a woman wants when she wears these dresses: She wants to feel powerful and confident.

Also key to this collection: the notion that it’s time to start thinking about  Herve Leger signature dresses. “This collection was a big step forward for us, because there 

were a lot more separates,” she says. “We wanted to step away from dresses, while of course 

knowing that they’re central to our brand, but also spend a lot of time on the details: 

metallics, foil finishes, beading, fur, fringe, or beaded inserts. Fall is really a study in 


It’s a well-planned move, especially as Hervé Léger is a label that has experienced more than 

its share of knock-offs over the years—and yet Lubov seems unfazed by the seemingly endless 

parade of look-alikes. “When we purchased the label, we spent six years developing techniques 

to ensure we got the tension just right in our knitting machines,” she says. “The people who 

do a cheap version of what we do don’t have that time; they’re in it for a season and they’re 

For Lubov, the fun and the challenge will always be in that highly special fabric, creating new 

and increasingly sophisticated iterations of a collection she quite simply calls “my baby.”

“I love working with the bandages because they’re always about evolving, creating, and moving 

forward,” she says. “They’re a breed unto themselves.

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