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NEW YORK — Helmut Lang has found its new designer — make that designers.
Link Theory Holdings Co. Ltd., which bought the label from Prada in March, is expected to announce today that it has tapped Michael and Nicole Colovos, the founders of the Habitual label, as design directors of Helmut Lang, effective immediately.
The husband-and-wife team, who recently left Habitual and will end creative ties with the Los Angeles label with the fall collection, is slated to relaunch Helmut Lang with a capsule collection for spring 2007.
The collection will be presented during the spring market in September. At the moment, no runway show is planned for the collection, which Link Theory wants to turn into a contemporary label.
Nicole Colovos, 36, and Michael Colovos, 35, are studying the Helmut Lang archives, but they are deliberately steering away from guessing what Lang would have done had he stayed at the label that bears his name. Instead, they hope to take some of the label's trademarks, including its minimalist spirit, sharp tailoring, utilitarian edge and knack for fabric experimentation, and add their own design sensibility.
"We're not trying to be Helmut and continue in the way he would have continued," Michael Colovos said, in an exclusive interview with his wife and Andrew Rosen, Theory's president, on Friday. "We're trying to come in and put our own spin onto the essence of the label."
Nicole Colovos concurred: "We're not Helmut Lang and aren't trying to re-create what he did. There's room to inject your own idea into it, and there's a thread we will follow. We just started looking at the archives to explore the things we loved about Helmut's work."
Rosen, who has been running the Helmut Lang business since the acquisition and has been charged with putting together a team and structure for the label, said, "Ricky [Sasaki, Link Theory's chief executive officer] and I have always believed that our opportunity globally is in the contemporary marketplace. We will continue to do things to stimulate that marketplace. Helmut Lang has the opportunity to be a global business with a strong wholesale presence in upper-end department and specialty stores and eventually its own stores."