What Happened to Clothing Designer Helmut Lang?

by Sarah Clark
Fashion School Review Columnist

November 13, 2006

Send Article to Friend Send to a friend | Printable Version

Pursue A
Fashion Degree
The Art Institutes

The Art Institute
Since Helmut Lang left the clothing design industry in 2005, his fans have wondered what would become of him and his legacy, defined by an urbane, minimalist aesthetic. Here's where the legend's career in fashion stands, at least for the present.

Helmut devotees shouldn't hold their breath for a major comeback - there appears to be little sign that Mr. Lang will return to Prada, the fashion house the Viennese-born designer recently sold his business and label to. Not long after Prada bought Lang's look, they turned around and sold it, following the then current trend among clothing design marketers to build luxury brands by offering expensive leather bags in the glass-walled boutiques of pricey shopping districts.

Unfortunately for those involved, the plan failed. They never came up with a handbag that sold, and a new fragrance introduced received little enthusiasm.

Meanwhile, it is said that Mr. Lang is pursuing a relatively reclusive lifestyle, or is, at the very least, expressing little interest in catching a photo op at one of New York's many fashion-related social gatherings. Instead, he's thought to be spending time at his seaside retreat in South Hampton.

There remains reason for celebration, or at least a spirited eagerness, however, in the soon arrival of a new line of Helmut-labeled clothing. The husband and wife clothing design team Michael and Nicole Colovos will introduce their own take on the Helmut label next spring. Stay tuned for that.

Lessons for Fashion School Students
There couldn't be a better case study for fashion school students to scrutinize. Here you have all the important areas of the fashion industry represented - design, business, and fickle consumer tastes. Many say Mr. Lang was unable to change with the times during the '90s, when consumers began to shun his trademark minimalism.

In studying this example, fashion school students can learn about the clothing design business, and the ups and downs that go along with it. It's a great way to prepare for your own career in fashion, and get a head start on it by considering the evolution of a career in fashion which could very well become a cautionary tale remembered only in fashion school.

About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer specializing in career development and postsecondary education.

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

Congratulations! Your interest in California College San Diego is an important first step toward changing your life. A career-focused degree is the key to a new career with a potentially higher income, better benefits, and more satisfaction.

We want to help you get that degree. Consider:

1. Start Fast, Finish Fast: You can earn an Associate's degree in 20 months, and a Bachelor’s degree in 30 to 36 months.*

2. Save up to $5,000 on your college degree.You can afford college with our new Fresh Start Scholarships!

3. Tuition Assistance: Financial aid and grants are available to those who qualify.

4. No additional Fees, No Hassles: No parking fees, no long lines, no lab fees, no cost for books, no waiting for class availability.

5. Employment Assistance: We’ll help you find your new job when you graduate.**

6. Career-focused Curriculum: You’ll receive practical instruction for work-related knowledge.

7. Convenience: Day, evening and online‡ classes are available to fit your schedule.

8. Accredited Institution: California College San Diego is an Accredited Member of the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

9. Programs Approved for Veterans: Take full advantage of your military benefits to earn your degree.

10. A New Laptop Computer: Get it when you start and keep it when you graduate.***

You can get started toward a high-demand career in healthcare, business, information technology or graphic arts right now. Complete the form and see how you can qualify for a scholarship (not based on grades or exams!) and save up to $5,000 on your college degree.

We invest in you! California College San Diego® is a nonprofit institution and an accredited member, ACCSC.

Accelerated Degree Programs are compared to traditional colleges and universities. See National Center for Educational Statistics, table 4 (http://www.nces.ed.gov/pubs2007/2007154.pdf)

Financial Aid is available for those who qualify.

See more facts about California College San Diego

Campus Locations:

Your creativity is a big part of who you are and where you're going. To take it, and your future, as far as you want, you need an education that's focused on developing your talents and putting you on the path toward the creative career that stirs your imagination. A collaborative education at The Art Institutes is all about the work, the students who create it, and the instructors who guide them.

See more facts about The Art Institutes system of schools

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible. One of our Admissions Counselors is ready to assist you with this process. Here is what you can expect from us:


  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.*
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.

excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs



Benefits of Liberty

  • No standardized testing if you meet admission requirements.
  • Credit for prior training, certification, licensure, experience, and learning, and more such as:

Real Estate
Emergency Response

  • Courses taught from a Christian worldview.
  • 8 start dates a year, with an 8 week course format.


Financing Options

  • Financial Aid

o   87% of all Liberty students in an online program are awarded financial aid.

  • Tuition discounts for

o   Military service members, including active duty, retired, veterans, and their spouses.

o   Emergency Response Personnel

  • Corporate Tuition Assistance

o   Deferred – If your company reimburses you for the cost of your education, you submit your grades to your employer who pays you, and then you pay for your classes. 

  • Other convenient payment options are available


Liberty University has been recognized by Forbes Magazine as a low debt college for students as well as ranked by BestColleges.com in the top 10 out of 2,100 nonprofit colleges in the nation.

See more facts about Liberty University

Campus Locations:
Matching School Ads