Of all the designers coveted by archival fashion experts, Helmut Lang may be the most important. Lang's acclaimed designs were inherently important to the development of contemporary fashion but the key pieces aren't easy to come by.
Sure, everyone and their grandma can get their hands on a vintage shirt or pair of paint-splattered jeans from Lang's old collections — there are currently over 8k listings for secondhand Helmut Lang on Grailed — but when it comes to collecting the really rare stuff, the stuff that no one else has and barely anyone's ever seen outside of Lang's early-aughts showrooms, you need to go to a specialist.
That's where ENDYMA comes in. The archive boasts what purports to be the world's largest collection of OG Helmut Lang.
ENDYMA doesn't normally sell its wares; it only offers garments on loan to stylists or curators.
There are rare occasions in which it digs into the collection, however, and selects a few items for sale, offered exclusively at one-off pop-up events at likeminded venues.
Legendary Berlin-based retailer Andreas Murkudis is one such establishment and, come August 20, it'll be hosting ENDYMA's next sale, alongside two other major moments in good taste.
"Most fashion shops kind of suck right now," ENDYMA founder Michael Kardamakis told Highsnobiety. "They suck because they're trying too hard to stay relevant when new stuff keeps coming up from every direction."
"The market is saturated with attention-grabbing streetwear, lazy nonsensical collabs, and investor-backed companies that are trying to finesse their way into fashion and culture."
Kardamakis explained that Murkudis' store is the ideal partner to showcase ENDYMA's vision because it flies in the face of that dime-a-dozen approach because most other contemporary retailers succumb to; in his opinion, Murkudis is one of the few retailers whose selections "will not look cringe next year."
"I honestly consider ANDREAS MURKUDIS to be the best shop in Berlin," Kardamakis said.
The ENDYMA pop-up at Andreas Murkudis will include a vast array of classic Lang items, from a coated silk bondage bomber (Spring/Summer 2004) to a velvet-trimmed military shirt (Fall/Winter 1997) to a pair of titanium sunglasses (SS99).
There's a comprehensive survey of Lang's influence on display, though ENDYMA isn't aiming to simply offer goods indicative of Lang's lingering impact.
"We wanted to have a truly comprehensive range: not just 'Astro' jackets but also rare couture dresses, bags, underwear," explained Kardamakis.
"Making a selection was challenging because we primarily work as an archive. I am primarily a collector rather than a seller; each piece is another connecting dot informing our understanding of Helmut Lang's body of work."
It's inevitable that, with a creative who shaped clothing design as much as Lang, even a seemingly disparate selection of pieces will inadvertently reflect the cues that Lang introduced into the greater fashion lexicon.
"I hope that people will visit our installation and realize that Helmut Lang's design made a real impact on fashion design as we understand it today," Kardamakis continued.
For instance, Lang's casual incorporation of militaria is fully on display through aforementioned pieces, a patched shirt, and waffle-knit shirt-skirt set, while his canniness for an uncomplicated silhouette — "real clothes," if you will — rendered luxurious manifests in leather tailoring and graphic shirts cut from delicate cotton jersey.
Lots going on, suffice to say.
On the subject of Helmut Lang's continued relevance, Kardamakis was optimistically reflective.
"I think more people than ever before are now aware of the fact that good design does not depend on newness," he said. "I feel like consumers have become a lot more eclectic over the years, and expect to see more than the obvious Helmut grails like bondage bombers and mummy jeans."
"I see a lot of individualism nowadays and people are less fixated on what Kanye West or Travis Scott wore. I am happy to see people creating their own definitions of what's good, and introducing new ways of understanding why 1990s labels like Helmut Lang are important."
Also on August 20, Andreas Murkudis will launch Raf Simons' KVADRAT "Shaker System" exclusively in Germany and introducing the fourth round of DAS HAUS interior goods, produced by furniture imprint e15.
Between the archival Lang, Simons' minimalist shelving and e15's intelligently designed chairs, there's much to wrap your head (and body) around. It's a good time to be in Berlin.