Helmut Lang is one of the most influential fashion designers of the last 30 years. After finishing his career in the fashion industry, he donated his archive to 18 museums around the world; the MAK received a crucial portion of the collection.

In the 1990s, the native Austrian rose to become a leading figure of the international fashion scene. In 2005, he left the company he had built and turned his attention to art. The Helmut Lang brand, however, is still in existence today.

Lang’s fashion designs became synonymous with classically simple elegance. At the same time, he placed great value on the wearability of his designs. Rigor, precision, and a tendency toward abstraction were his hallmarks, just as much as intelligent, subtle details and the use of
unconventional materials.

The combination of understatement, practicability, and attitude validated Lang’s cult status and opened up new audiences for high-priced fashions. Projects with artists like Jenny Holzer, Louise Bourgeois or Elfie Semotan were not done to cultivate an image, but were an expression of common interests and human bonding.

A key area of Helmut Lang’s corporate archive (reflecting the company‘s overall brand presence) went to the MAK in its entirety. Various collections are represented by individual pieces. This room is exhibit and storehouse in one. The entire stock of Helmut Lang items owned by the MAK is in the middle of the room, with certain pieces organized by theme in the display cabinets to the side.
Helmut Lang: Cutout Cardigan, S 2003 Homme Femme Collection