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Austrian-born Helmut Lang's fashion line quickly rose through the fashion ranks to become one of the 1990s most coveted and popular brands. The designer's popularity waned in the early 2000s after he sold the company to Prada. He eventually stepped down, and the brand was sold to a Japanese fashion house. Now, the Helmut Lang brand, with its signature modern and minimalist styling, is again rising to elite status in the fashion industry.
Lang launched his signature Helmut Lang fashion line in 1986. The brand quickly caught on within the fashion world, and was one of the most prominent lines during the late '80s and early '90s. In 1999, Lang partnered with another high-fashion brand, Prada. The collaboration between brands didn't go well, leading Prada to acquire the Helmut Lang brand in 2004. Lang left the company in 2005, and Prada sold the company to Japan's Link Theory in 2006. Link Theory relaunched Helmut Lang in 2007 with all new designers; the brand is gaining in popularity once again.
Helmut Lang built his line around minimalist designs styled with his two go-to colors: black and white. His post-modern take on fashion and design was before his time; he also used high-tech fabrics in his pieces before other designers. His high-end, futuristic take on fashion was a testament to his skill as both an artist and a designer. The Helmut Lang concept changed after Link Theory took over the line; pieces are now designed around a trendier, more contemporary look.
Helmut Lang's early collections featured simple, yet functional designs. The Helmut Lang name was synonymous with structured suits and the designer's denim collection, which used high-tech fabrics. Today's Helmut Lang features contemporary pieces that fit with owner Link Theory's other brands. The line's Spring 2011 collection features on-trend pieces like shorts, asymmetrical dresses, structured jackets and tops in monochromatic hues.
Prices and Availability
The Helmut Lang collection is sold at both high-end retailers and at Helmut Lang-branded stores around the world. Helmut Lang pieces are also available for purchase on the web at high-end web retailers like Net-a-Porter and ShopStyle. Prices for pieces in the Helmut Lang collection are mid-range, meaning they're inexpensive compared to some couture labels, but expensive for budget fashionistas. Helmut Lang tops, for example, are priced from $100 to $300, while jackets and dresses top out around $800.