Peter Do is Helmut Lang’s new creative director, the New York label announced on May 10. Do, the buzzy young designer shortlisted for the LVMH Prize, will take the Helmut Lang’s reigns on May 15 and begin preparing to showcase his new vision for the company in late 2023.
In terms of New York Fashion Week alone, hardly any brands are hitting as hard as Peter Do. In a matter of years, the soft-spoken designer, who refuses to show his face in publicity photos or press imagery, has become the city’s best-kept not-so-secret.
Do’s runway shows are typically the hottest ticket of the NYFW season, alongside fellow New York lifers like The Row, Thom Browne, and March Jacobs, and he’s moving product to boot. Peter Do’s clothing is as covetable as it is exciting — all the more reason he’s an appealing get for Helmut Lang.
Peter Do’s first collection for Helmut Lang, Spring/Summer 2024, will debut in September 2023 as part of New York Fashion Week.
“We are thrilled to have Peter Do join Helmut Lang as creative director,” Helmut Lang CEO Dinesh Tandon said in a statement.
“His clear and innovative approach to design very much aligns with the brand’s ethos and heritage. His experience with luxury fashion houses and his acclaimed eponymous label make him a natural choice for this role.”
Do is stepping into big shoes: it’s no understatement to posit that Helmut Lang defined the style of the ’90s and revolutionized fashion in the process. No one put jeans on the runway until Helmut Lang, for instance.
Lang’s pioneering approach to personality-driven minimalism paved the way for generations that followed and his original designs remain collectible to this day.
Helmut Lang left his eponymous label (and fashion in general) in the aughts to focus on his art but the brand continued without him though it’s nowhere near as essential as it once was, despite attempts to tap back into the pioneering ’90s-era designs that was once synonymous with the Helmut Lang name.
There is perhaps no designer currently better set up to return Helmut Lang to its former glory than Peter Do; 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, the appointment of Peter Do as creative director isn’t merely a good get for Helmut Lang; the relationship is mutually beneficial. At Lang, Do will be able to scale his vision without sacrificing his own brand’s humility and exclusivity.
Do will also be tangibly ingratiating his output with that of his design idol, which has to be a pretty 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 key in building his love of Lang’s work.
“It is my deep honor to be entrusted with ushering in the next chapter of Helmut Lang’s legacy. I am excited to learn from the foundations this house stands on and to continue creating new, energetic clothes that inspire people to challenge their understanding of what is possible when it comes to expressing their individuality.”