What is the inspiration for this show?
LA: We work with bandage, so we needed to find a new way to renew the look. So for this show, we thought about nature, as when you walk in to a forest, you have textures of leaves, animals etc.. A forest is very surreal. There are a lot of different textures. That took us on a different journey. There is evidence of a stole-like inspiration, trimmed in different furs. They are very beautiful, and show up in the work of YSL and other designers.
Where do you see this brand in 10 years? Do you see it evolving in to an even larger brand?
LA: Not huge, I see it as a lifestyle brand. When people think about Hervé Léger they only think about bandage dresses, but we are also invested in shoes, handbags, outerwear, swim suits (with cover ups). It’s really about that desired lifestyle, rather than a ubiquitous look.
What is your next big event after NYFW?
LA: I think we are doing some public appearances. I host editor events at my home in Los Angeles. We are definitely involving ourselves in a lot of runway related events.
What are you most proud of about Hervé Léger and yourself?
LA: First of all, I love what I do. So I do it with passion, and I give thanks every day. I’m just blessed, and very proud of Hervé Léger. I really love our products. At first it took us 6 years to launch Hervé Léger, and one of the reasons is because I didn’t like the product at the beginning, or understand it. I feel like it didn’t have the right esthetic. Therefore, I was thrilled following a successful launch of the Hervé Léger line to be able to offer exciting silhouettes, and a younger appeal.
What is your biggest challenge when you are creating?
LA: To walk away from it, because when you design you never stop changing. For example I could take one thing and work on it for a year and it will never be perfect. The challenge of it I think is to really let things go and leave it the way it is and enjoy it.
Something we do not know about Hervé Léger?
LA: It normally takes up to 300 hours to make one dress. I have all these little notes about how long its take to make Hervé Léger, and sometimes it take a week and sometimes it take a month to make that one dress. That’s why they fit perfectly.
How has Hervé Leger changed you as a person?
LA: I think it gave me a different point of view on fashion. With Hervé Léger, when you put together a piece it has to be done in the most way possible. It’s all about focus and passion.
What should be on our hot list?
LA: Personally I think the hemline is getting longer on dresses, and we have some really beautiful dresses that go below the knee, some that zip all the way up. Those are simply fantastic and they would definitely be my first choice.
What is your favorite look for the new collection?
LA: I can’t choose one. If I didn’t like them all, they wouldn’t be down the runway.
How is Hervé Léger making a difference in the fashion industry? What makes Hervé Léger the dress to pick over other designers?
LA: First of all I think our customers understand Hervé Léger. They are unique. I believe they can’t be copied, like priceless art or a heritage piece. They are very special. It’s an investment piece. It’s also something that will never go out of style. You know there are people still wearing Hervé Léger from the 80’s, and they look modern today. Also, the craftsmanship and style is timeless. It’s doesn’t pill, it doesn’t change color, so you buy one dress, you wear it forever.
About this famous fabric –how did you decide to change the original bandage look in to what it has become today?
LA: I didn’t change much. Hervé Léger’s idea was akin to hat design, in that just as hats are molded to fit your head, the dress fabric would mold to fit your body. It holds you in place. There is no pattern; each piece of fabric is individual, and sculpts your body. However, in this vain it is impossible to continue to sell such a design at such high prices, so we had to figure out how to keep the Léger tradition for less expensive. What we did was employ the drop-needle technique, which creates the desired design on the dress without the use of so many bandages.
How do you want women to feel when they wear Hervé Leger?
LA: You cannot be shy in an Hervé Léger. You have to feel powerful and strong and glamorous at the same time. Essentially, it’s about confidence in yourself, because you can be the most beautiful women in the world, but if you don’t have confidence, you will never wear Hervé Léger. It takes a lot to wear almost nothing at all (laugh).
Do you enjoy wearing Hervé Léger or do you prefer BCBG and runway?
LA: It’s not that I have a preference, it more about the feeling. My closet is filled with racks of all these different styles –sometimes I want to wear Hervé Léger but sometimes I want to sleep in it (laugh)! Other times I prefer runway pieces as they are made in such small quantities and I want to support that. We only make about 200 pieces of runway, and I want people to understand the uniqueness of it. With Hervé Léger it’s more about the pleasure. For example this dress (picture) is 1 in 50, so you feel special wearing it. We’re not in the comedy business, its not a market place, it’s true fashion, and when people buy a $3000 dress, it’s not to be mass produced, and you would never reproduce it. There are basic patterns that are repeated but most of the time when we keep a style we try to take it on a new journey. For example, you’ll never see another jacquard like that because were not going to repeat it because we move to this (another type of jacquard), or that one, it’s a never-ending journey.
How has the family tradition molded the brand? I know you have a big family and I know you have included one of your girls with BCBGeneration, but would you include any other members of your family?
LA: If they want to, I don’t think the majority of my kids want to, they all have their own strength and focuses. They love me and they love their dad and they see that we love what we do. My older daughter is 19 and she wants to be a lawyer and she wants to save the world, my middle one does animation so she wants to move to Japan, and my little one is an actress and a signer.
On Facebook we see that you have a united family with all your pictures with your kids, and its nice to see. So maybe we could see one of them taking the business over?
LA: I don’t know, I don’t know, maybe. We’ll see. In terms of business Max and I have 18 years difference. We have plenty of time.
What is your favorite time? Is it when you’re the busiest or when you have nothing to do?
LA: I can’t remember a time when I had noting to do, but my all-purpose in life is how I can make things better. Every day I wake up and I’m thinking how I can make things better. I fix things. If I’m not busy, I have to make myself busy; it’s in my nature. I love creating. I’m so passionate that I don’t see the time pass.
Do you need more calm or chaos when you’re creating?
LA: As you get older there’s not much chaos. You know I think chaos is when you don’t know what you’re doing. We have organized chaos. I vote for more hours in a day. I mean I don’t understand why there’s 24 and not 26. They did it in Germany not too long ago –we could change that! (laugh)
Do you have a little habit when you create, for example do you go outside or you just sit down on a chair at a desk, do you need music etc?
LA: All of it, I work with a really talented team. I mean we all sit down and throw ideas back and forth and collect them. I like to collaborate with a lot of people. Fundamentally, people don’t buy what you do; it’s more why you do it. So there has to be a reason in life to do what you do.
I know that you travel a lot; do you have a place that you love to go or a place that you always go? Or do you prefer to travel all over?
LA: I do, I think that there are so many places that I love and want to go back to but it’s not the same, because it’s not about the places but more about the people you’re with most of the time. But I do love to discover places where there are no McDonald’s and Burger King’s, or no Westerners.
What was your favorite getaway?
LA: There isn’t just one but the last one that I can remember when I really did not work and just relaxed was Istanbul in September. It was great because I actually did not want to work, I did not want to think about anything.