Helmut Lang’s new creative director is Peter Do, the New York-based label announced on May 10. Do, the buzzy young designer shortlisted for the LVMH Prize, will take over Helmut Lang on May 15 and begin planning to unveil his new vision for the company in late 2023.
Few brands are hitting as hard as Peter Do during New York Fashion Week. In just a few years, the soft-spoken designer, who refuses to appear in publicity photos or press imagery, has become the city’s best-kept not-so-secret.
Do’s runway shows, along with fellow New York lifers like The Row, Thom Browne, and March Jacobs, are typically the hottest tickets of the NYFW season, and he’s moving product to boot. Peter Do’s clothing is as desirable as it is exciting, which makes him an appealing acquisition for Helmut Lang.
Peter Do’s first Helmut Lang collection, Spring/Summer 2024, will be unveiled in September 2023 as part of New York Fashion Week.
“We are thrilled to have Peter Do join Helmut Lang as creative director,” said Helmut Lang CEO Dinesh Tandon in a statement.
“His clear and innovative design approach is very much in line with the brand’s ethos and heritage.” His experience with high-end fashion houses, as well as his acclaimed eponymous label, make him an obvious choice for this position.”
Do is stepping into big shoes: it’s an understatement to say that Helmut Lang defined 90s style and revolutionised fashion. Helmut Lang, for example, was the first to wear jeans on the runway.
Lang’s pioneering approach to personality-driven minimalism paved the way for subsequent generations, and his original designs are still collectible today.
Helmut Lang left his eponymous label (and fashion in general) in the aughts to focus on his art, but the brand survived without him, though it’s no longer as important as it once was, despite attempts to resurrect the pioneering ’90s-era designs that were once synonymous with the Helmut Lang name.
Perhaps no designer is better positioned than Peter Do to restore Helmut Lang to its former glory; the austere silhouettes and refined elegance of Do’s eponymous collection are distinct from Lang’s original work, but stylistic throughlines are visible and the rabid consumer response is comparable.
Still, Peter Do’s appointment as creative director is more than just a good fit for Helmut Lang; the relationship is mutually beneficial. Do will be able to scale his vision at Lang without sacrificing the humility and exclusivity of his own brand.
Do will also be tangibly ingratiating his work with that of his design idol, which must be a humbling experience in and of itself.
“No one embodied radical thinking more definitively than Helmut Lang,” Peter Do said, citing his formative years at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology as instrumental in developing his appreciation for Lang’s work.
“It is a great honour for me to be entrusted with writing the next chapter in Helmut Lang’s legacy.” I’m excited to learn from the foundations this house is built on and to keep creating new, energetic clothes that inspire people to push the boundaries of what’s possible when it comes to expressing their individuality.”