Helmut Lang is noted for clean lines, denim, successful jeans and underwear collections as well as designs for sunglasses.
Helmut Lang was born in 1956 in Vienna and opened his first studio in 1977.
By the mid-eighties he became a celebrated designer exhibiting his first ready-to-wear collections in his hometown of Vienna.
In 1986 he started to show women’s clothes in Paris and this was followed in 1987 by a men’s collection.
Lang is considered to have inspired a generation of new designers, like the new talents from Beligum such as Dries van Noten or Dirk Bikkembergs.
In 1993, Lang was appointed professor of fashion design at the Vienna College for the Applied Arts.
His designs are casual but because of their clinical cut they are never sloppy.
Helmut Lang has a number of different brands for his different designs.
In 1995 he introduced his first underwear collection followed the year after by a jeans line.
The introduction of his underwear collection in 1995 and the jeans line in 1996 is seen as a move to broaden his customer base with more readily available and less exclusive products.
Prada bought 51% of Helmut Lang in 1999 when merger mania ruled the luxury goods world. It bought the other 49% in October.
Relaunched in 2007 after changing hands from Prada to Link Theory Holdings, and without Helmut at the creative helm, Helmut Lang now exists as a more affordable label than the luxury brand of old. Helmut Lang defined minimalism in the nineties, along with Jil Sander, Prada and Calvin Klein. The company continues to focus on sharply cut suits and trousers.
The new creative directors of the brand, CFDA runners-up Nicole and Michael Colovos, emphasized denim in their previous line, Habitual, and were tapped to run the Helmut Lang brand because of their combination of “street edge” and femininity, as explained by Andrew Rosen of Theory.
They’ve succeeded at maintaining the brand’s modern, minimalist roots while stamping it with their own point of view.