In Spring 2017 Helmut Lang's CEO Andrew Rosen announced that the brand was in a state of transformation. Rosen did not tap a permanent creative director, turning instead to Isabella Burley, editor-in-chief of London's Dazed magazine, to become Helmut Lang's first editor-in-residence, with a focus on revamping the Helmut Lang digital footprint.
In advance of New York Fashion week -- more than a month out -- it's not clothes that will give us an eye to the forward vision of Helmut Lang. The Fall/Winter 2018 ad campaign marks the beginning of the brand's 'reset'.
Shot by the talented Ethan James Green, the cast of characters includes Alek Wek, former porn star Traci Lords, transgender model Dara, the artist and director Larry Clark, and Amariyanna Copeny -- aka Mari Copeny --, a 10-year-old better know as "Little Miss Flint," who has served as the face of the Flint, Michigan water crisis.
Isabelle Burley's first creative design pick Shayne Oliver, designer behind Hood by Air, created a special collection of ready-to-wear plus accessories, that will debut in September. Oliver, too, is in the ad campaign. Stylist Melanie Ward, a Helmut Lang 'original', appears with her brother and Anthony Ward. This fresh cast of characters strategy also includes Kembra Pfahler, Unlocking The Truth, Yoshi, Alanie Quinones, Aurel Haize, Grace Gee, Ian Isiah, Gogo Graham and Sohyun Jun.
The artistic result is a memorable cast of progressive thinkers, creative icons and a wide-range of talent that underscores not only brand identity in the digital age, but a much larger expansion of fashion's wings in the age of Trump.
When all the values held to be dear by the fashion industry are under assault, it's time for fashion to get street-smart and involved. Forget whether the season's color is pink or blue. The larger question is who are you as a brand? Are you with us or not? #RESIST! ~ Anne