Fashion Designer Helmut Lang was born in 1956 in Vienna, Austria. Before turning to fashion design, Lang went to a local trade academy and was trained to become a businessman. His career switch to fashion was accompanied by the opening of his first own studio in 1977. In the mid eighties he became a celebrated designer with his first ready to wear collections in his hometown Vienna.
Soon after the first success in Austria, he started to show women"s clothes in Paris, France in 1986. In 1987 followed a men"s collection. Lang switches back and forth between Vienna and Paris, designing in his atelier in Vienna and consulting with his agent in Paris.
Today, Lang is considered one of the pace makers of fashion design. Lang has been labeled a deconstructionist, a futurist, and a minimalist, always attributed with fashion trends that soon after will be adopted by the fashion bcommunity. His creations have inspired a whole generation of new designers, like the new talents from Beligum, namely Dries van Noten or Dirk Bikkembergs. He uses uncommon materials and cuttings for clothes that are not loud in appearence, but unavoidable disturbing in nature. His designs are casual, but not sloppy and yet, they bear a certain harshness. Unlike his Italian colleagues, Lang undresses women with his clothes not with a voluptuous gesture, he does so with clinical coolness.
Lang intends to avoid a subdivision of his designs into different brands. He wants to concentrate on strengthening the brand name Helmut Lang. 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.
Although his designs, as well as his fashion shows gain much attention publically, the person Helmut Lang avoids to become a public figure. That"s why there are hardly any photographs of the designer published (see our picture).
Helmut Lang Men"s and Women"s Clothes
Helmut Lang Underwear, since 1995
Helmut Lang Jeans, since 1996
Helmut Lang Protective Eyewear, since 1996
Helmut Lang Shoes, since 1995
Helmut Lang Accessoires, since 1996
Selected Awards and Recognitions
In 1993, Lang was appointed professor for fashion design at the Vienna College for the Applied Arts.
Economic figures of the Helmut Lang business are not reported, only the designer"s own assessment that sales are constantly rising and that the economic standing is excellent at the moment.
Helmut Lang pursues a very restrictive distribution policy for his ready to wear collection. There are only three exclusive Helmut Lang boutiques right now: in Vienna, Austria (operated together with a division of the Austrian lingerie giant Palmers), in Munich,Germany, and in Milan, Italy. Lang plans to open stores in Paris, New York, Tokio, and Hong Kong in 1997. For his Jeans line, which will be introduced in 1997, 600 to 700 points of sale are planned worldwide.
Since 1988, Lang has several license arragements for the production and distribution of underwear, shoes, and eyewear. The new jeans line will be handled by the Italian partner Fashion Network a division of the GTR Group. In the U.S.A. the partner for distribution will be Onward Kashiyama USA Inc.
For the future a perfume license is envisioned, as well as a luxury line, offering the best available materials and craftmanship in production.
For Fall 2012 designers are inspired by a wide range of influences, from the elaborate details of brocade and metallic gold embellishments to the dynamic mix of military chic and power pantsuits. Colo