In a sign of social intelligence, the house of Helmut Lang has launched their first ad campaign from Editor-in-Residence Alix Browne, who based the concept around a new slogan: ‘Smart People Wear Helmut Lang.’ ….. Smart Alix.
One of my favorite quotes about Helmut Lang is that people who wear the clothes have a sense of intelligence about them. The essential language of the brand is largely embedded inside the clothes − the idea being perhaps that people who have really interesting inner lives, especially the brilliant people in this series, don’t necessarily need to broadcast that fact on their sleeves, and of course, the pun on smart here is intentional.
Browne, who previously served in editor functions at W, V, and The New York Times magazine, was wise to dig back to the archive of the houses historical ads to set the tone for the campaigns layout and aesthetics. But beyond the look, the campaign is smart in its approach, carving out a positioning that recalls the recent BBC Sherlock line, “Smart is the new sexy.” Which we here at The Impression hope is true since the gym and our keyboard are nowhere near each other.
After combing through the campaign archive Browne paid a visit to the collections of the late Jim Walrod, an interior designer who collected art, design, and pop culture works including a number of Helmut Lang original pieces which have been used in the current campaign. Subjects wear pieces from: the Helmut Lang fall 2018 and resort 2019 collections, the brand’s forthcoming denim re-launch, ‘under construction’, an upcoming collaboration with parley for the oceans, and Helmut Lang certified pre-owned – vintage pieces from the collection of Jim Walrod.
The intelligentsia line-up lensed by photographer Richard Burbridge includes Call Me By Your Name Director James Ivory; British industrial designer Max Lamb; filmmaking duo Josh and Benny Safdie; trans visual artist Wu Tsang; lawyer and curator Pati Herling; and the first ever Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman.
Overall the thinking speaks to the social intelligence of Browne both in serving the community socially as well as developing a campaign that will play well in social media.
“At a time when there is so much noise in the fashion landscape,” explained Browne “we wanted to project the considered, deeply assured, yet cheeky ethos of Helmut Lang.”
P.S. One element of note of the campaign is the textual backwards lettering hidden in the right hand side of the each image. As if each image was scanned from a publication with copy on the backside. The Impression didn’t have time to play Sherlock with a mirror regarding subliminal messaging, but for all of your with a little free time on your hands, hit us up.
Helmut Lang Editor-in-Residence | Alix Browne
Photographer | Richard Burbridge
Talent | Amanda Gorman, James Ivory,Josh & Benny Safdie, Max Lamb, Pati Hertling, & Wu Tsang
Stylist | Sara Moonves
Hair | Rutger, James Mooney
Makeup | Karan Franjola, Cynthia Sobek
Casting | Establishment
Creative Advisory | Framework