Women’s Wear Daily
04.23.2014
fashion
fashion

Moment 75: Helmut Changes the Calendar

In 1998, Helmut Lang bumped up the date of his upcoming spring show, prompting the rescheduling of New York’s Fashion Week from last to first.

fashion/news
Helmut Lang on his spring 1999 runway

Helmut Lang on his spring 1999 runway.

Photo By WWD Archive

On July 7, 1998, Helmut Lang informed WWD that he would change the date of his upcoming spring show. Big deal? Indeed. At the time, New York showed after Europe, in November for the spring season, which, he argued, was “just too far back for our house.” The very next day, Calvin Klein, long frustrated by the schedule, followed suit. Thus unleashed frenzied debate on two continents, opinions ranging from Klein’s endorsement (“Absolutely we needed this push”) to Pierre Bergé’s accusation of inciting anarchy. In the end, Lang’s way prevailed. Spring ’99 saw a split season in New York; by fall, the city’s industry was united in showing first.

 

Lang had emerged as an avant-garde hero out of Vienna in the mid-Eighties on the strength of his austere, futuristic aesthetic, becoming a major architect of early Nineties minimalism. At the height of his influence he moved his base to New York, where his unique status of red-hot arriviste made him perhaps the only person who could, unilaterally, put the calendar sea change into motion. Yet Lang’s power was rooted in creative rather than commercial might. In 1999, he sold a 51 percent stake in his company to Prada Group. But the expectation of international development never materialized and the relationship turned sour. In January 2005, Lang departed his house a year shy of its 20th anniversary.

load comments

ADD A COMMENT

Sign in using your Facebook or Twitter account, or simply type your comment below as a guest by entering your email and name. Your email address will not be shared. Please note that WWD reserves the right to remove profane, distasteful or otherwise inappropriate language.

Ads by Google

Newsletters
Newsletters

Sign upSign up for WWD and FN newsletters to receive daily headlines, breaking news alerts and weekly industry wrap-ups.

Publications

ArticleFinder

Eye


Choose By

Clear

How it works

Close

Lorem Ipsum
Dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus ac nibh et risus lobortis scelerisque tempor nec enim. Etiam facilisis sapien sit amet.

Lorem Ipsum
Dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus ac nibh et risus lobortis scelerisque tempor nec enim. Etiam facilisis sapien sit amet.

Lorem Ipsum
Dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus ac nibh et risus lobortis scelerisque tempor nec enim. Etiam facilisis sapien sit amet.

Lorem Ipsum
Dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus ac nibh et risus lobortis scelerisque tempor nec enim. Etiam facilisis sapien sit amet.

Lorem Ipsum
Dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus ac nibh et risus lobortis scelerisque tempor nec enim. Etiam facilisis sapien sit amet.


Or