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Helmut Lang

Is there any designer in New York City more qualified to take Helmut Lang's helm than Peter Do? The storied NY label, once synonymous with '90s minimalism, is now being lead by a young NY designer synonymous with contemporary modernism. Perfect.

The designer's hiring at Helmut Lang is almost too perfect. Two names indicative of two distinct yet intertwined eras of New York fashion, united by a shared love of real clothes and disdain of fashion's typical trappings.

Do's appreciation for Helmut Lang's trailblazing approach is clearly visible in his debut collection for the house, Helmut Lang Spring/Summer 2024.

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“No one embodied radical thinking more definitively than Helmut Lang," Do said when he was appointed to lead Helmut Lang. "It is my deep honor to be entrusted with ushering in the next chapter of Helmut Lang's legacy.”

Titled "Born to Go," Do's first Helmut Lang collection was introduced with a brief essay from artist Ocean Vuong. The piece explored queer identity and the two creatives' origin stories, tellingly using the car as a metaphor.

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Cars have been a core Helmut Lang motif since the days when Lang placed his text-only advertisements atop taxi cabs in the mid-'90s.

This is an unmistakable indication of how Peter Do blends the Helmut Lang of yesteryear with his contemporary vision for the house. As the saying goes, old meets new.

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Do's Helmut Lang SS24 collection explores what the designer has titled a "system of dress." By this, he means versatile sets and separates that blend seamlessly. Black is the shade of the day and the dress code is "elegant" with a dash of "self-assured."

Unapologetically understated, Do's Helmut Lang clothes are modular, multi-purpose, and limited only by the wearer's imaginations.

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He envisioned black suiting punctuated with yellow tuxedo stripes, perhaps a further nod to NYC's iconic taxis. Draped dresses, sharp jackets, and slinky shirting (also in various shades of black [surprise!]) fluidly comingle like a chic clique at a fashionable gathering.

Untied from seasonal fancy or fashion cliché, Do's Helmut Lang promises perpetual stylishness.

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Peter Do founded his eponymous brand in 2018 upon his graduation from the Fashion Institute of Technology and prior to brief stints at Derek Lam and Phoebe Philo's Céline (in interviews, Do has called Philo his "hero").

Within a half-decade, the name Peter Do become representative of a new approach to understated elegance.

Some call it quiet luxury, some just wear it, comfortable in the knowledge that their good taste is assured by draping their body in Do's designs, elegant in their directness and intriguing in their obfuscation of familiar tropes.

The only aberrations in Do's sculpted silhouettes are the occasional cut-out, dangling cord, or heavy-duty fastening, a knowing subversion of the phrase "minimalism," a descriptor mangled through overuse.

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Like Lang himself, Do isn't interested in the air-kiss fluff often associated with fashion.

He eschews trends, influencers, and conventional campaigns, perpetually obscuring his face in photographs while being imminently communicative with his robust fanbase on Instagram. The only thing Do seeks to be known for is excellent clothing.

But, whereas recent-era Helmut Lang has succumbed to marketing gimmicks in place of the no-nonsense aesthetic that was once Lang's calling card, Do has only honed his oeuvre.

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It took Do up until the past year to finally branch out into proper collaborations, partnering with experimental leather imprint AT.KOLLEKTIVE and, of all places, mass-market retailer Banana Republic.

For Banana Republic, Do will create a democratized capsule that offers his inimitably advanced design language at approachable prices (more expensive than normal Banana Republic clothes, less expensive than Peter Do mainline).

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Do can tackle all of these projects — Helmut Lang, his eponymous brand, his collaborations — without diluting his vision simply because his vision is ironclad.

Take in a Peter Do runway and observe the sheer cohesion that unites everything from the casting to the soundtrack. Rare that a designer as young as Do can find themselves so quickly; this speaks to his innate gifts.

You don't even need to look at the social media reception — it's electric — to know that Helmut Lang's future is in good hands. This is how NYC dresses now.

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