Designer Focus

Helmut Lang

Ever since its launch in 1986, Helmut Lang is known for its less-is-more approach. Today, Lang's knack for simplicity is translated into clean lines and modern proportions created from luxe materials.

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About the designer


Austrian designer Helmut Lang has had a strange starting point in fashion. His stepmother forced him to wear his dad's suits to school and at home – every day. Calling her 'the classical stepmother in a bad Hollywood movie', he soon felt the urge to move out and set up a made-to-measure studio in Vienna. Even though his team consisted of only three seamstresses, he managed to open a boutique in 1979. A few years later, he had the crazy idea of doing a womenswear show in Paris. Even though Helmut Lang never studied fashion, he managed to create a women’s and menswear line and successfully introduced his brand in New York in 1997. In the industry, Lang was known to be always ahead of his time, referring to his contemporary and minimalistic designs. Many other designer collections were influenced by his perspective on fashion.

In 2007, Nicole and Michael Colovos took the helm of the brand after Helmut Lang resigned. They decided to focus solely on the womenswear line, which is characterised by an uncompromising palette of black, white and grey. Nicole and Michael respect Helmut Lang's legacy but prefer to not look back when it comes to the creative part. Their strong interest in fabrics and weaving and blending techniques, combined with the fact that they actually wear their own clothes, enables them to continually refine their ideas and designs.

Collection spring/summer 2018

Isabella Burley, Fashion Editor at Dazed & Confused, took on the role of creative director at Helmut Lang, digging into the archives of the label while collaborating with Hood by Air designer Shayne Oliver to realise the collection's silhouettes. Oliver shares Lang’s fetishism inspiration and let a unique cast of models present black and white silhouettes softened with pastel pink and beige cream hues. Poppy red and electric blue brightened the monochrome tones. Deconstructed looks featured open-worked wide leg trousers, flowing skirts and asymmetric dresses paired with irregular-shaped bra tops. The black leather looks alternated with satin dresses, rounding out this season's offering with sheer organza silhouettes strutting down for the finale.