Helmut Lang has appointed Peter Do, an emerging luminary in New York’s fashion landscape, as the new creative director.
Taking the reins from May 15th, Do will bring his distinctive design sensibilities to both the men’s and women’s collections, with his inaugural collection set to grace the runway during New York Fashion Week in September.
The announcement was met with enthusiasm from the Helmut Lang leadership. As stated by CEO Dinesh Tandon, “We are thrilled to have Peter Do join Helmut Lang as Creative director. His clear and innovative approach to design very much aligns with the brand’s ethos and heritage”. Do, while assuming this prominent role, will continue to oversee his own brand.
On his appointment, Do shared his excitement on Instagram, expressing his commitment to New York’s fashion scene and his deep reverence for the legacy of Helmut Lang. “During the most formative days of my own fashion education, no one embodied this spirit more definitively than Helmut Lang. As such, it is my deep honor to be entrusted with ushering in the next chapter of Helmut Lang’s legacy“, he posted.
The Helmut Lang brand, founded by the Austrian designer of the same name in 1986, quickly made its mark with its refined lines and sophisticated designs. Lang’s work paralleled that of contemporaries like Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto. However, aAfter Lang’s departure in 2005 to pursue an artistic career, the brand experienced various leadership changes until it settled into the hands of an in-house design team post-spring 2020 season.
Do’s appointment has been hailed by many as a fitting recognition of his impressive achievements over five years with his own brand. Launched in 2018, Peter Do rapidly gained a loyal following for his minimalist interpretation of downtown fashion. His unique approach to tailoring, deconstruction, and gender-neutral design swiftly positioned him among New York’s emerging designers.
Born in Biên Hòa, Vietnam, Do’s journey to the top of New York’s fashion industry has been remarkable. Following a move to Philadelphia in 2014, he studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, earning the inaugural LVMH Graduate Prize in 2014. His experience includes working at Céline’s ready-to-wear atelier under Phoebe Philo in Paris and later at Derek Lam in New York.
Do’s new role at Helmut Lang comes in the wake of a brief hiatus from his brand’s Fall/Winter 2023 season at New York Fashion Week, sparking questions about its future. However, a recently unveiled collection of 351 looks assembled from around two dozen pieces reinstated faith in his brand. Do described the absence from the fashion calendar as a “good reset“, and is excited to continue leading his brand alongside his new responsibilities at Helmut Lang.
Helmut Lang’s influence on contemporary fashion remains undeniable. The brand’s groundbreaking work, including the Helmut Lang Jeans line, revolutionized the designer denim market. Today, the resurgence of interest in iconic ’90s and ’00s fashion has refocused attention on the label. Recent examples include Timothée Chalamet sporting an archival leather utility vest from Lang’s Spring/Summer 1998 collection.
Peter Do has already made waves in the fashion industry, especially in menswear, dressing figures such as Moses Sumney, Jeremy O. Harris and K-Pop star Jeno from NCT. Much like Lang, Do is celebrated for his deconstruction techniques, androgyn ous designs, and has often cited Lang and Martin Margiela as his influences. Do’s unique design sensibility, characterized by tailoring focused on body contours, the use of cutouts and transparency, along with his signature spacer mesh fabric, perfectly aligns with the ethos of the Helmut Lang brand.
However, the common thread that truly binds Do and Lang is their shared belief in the importance of the work over the celebrity of the designer. Do is renowned for keeping his personal life private, often disguising his face in photos, a move reminiscent of Lang, who in the 90s, broke away from the fashion industry’s obsession with designer celebrity, choosing instead to focus on intimate presentations. Lang eventually retired completely from fashion in 2005, further emphasizing his focus on the art rather than the fame.
Peter Do’s appointment at Helmut Lang promises a period of exciting innovation, merging the brand’s timeless elegance with Do’s unique interpretation of contemporary fashion.