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  1. #1

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    Default Helmut Lang resigned

    From WWD


    Monday, January 24, 2005
    Helmut Lang Splits from Prada


    MILAN - Prada Group said Monday that Helmut Lang has resigned as creative director of the company that bears his name.

    Lang's departure came after increasing tensions between the designer and Prada chief Patrizio Bertelli, which WWD revealed last week.

    The Lang collections will be designed by the creative team that also produced the men's collection being shown in Paris, Prada said in a statement.

    Lang is the second major designer to depart Prada in the last few months after the resignation of Jil Sander from her label in November ÷ the second time the German designer resigned from the Italian luxury group.

    Prada bought 51 percent of Helmut Lang in 1999 and the remaining 49 percent last fall. Lang's New York-based fashion house has had a checkered history under Prada's ownership. Wholesale sales declined to about $37 million in 2003 from an estimated $100 million in 1999l.

    The Austrian-born Lang and Bertelli were increasingly dueling over the strategic direction of the Lang business, including the merchandising of the collection and creative control over the accessories category, people close to the situation said last week.



    http://blogsorbeta.blox.pl: CdG Series 8 Energy
    (Oct. 3rd).

  2. #2

    tigrushka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Helmut Lang resigned

    Thanks for the news, Nqth! Helmut Lang is one of my favourite designers so I do hope things would finally turn out fine for him, he's had so much trouble lately.
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  3. #3

    Default Re: Helmut Lang resigned

    Oh well. He's had a lot of column inches in the past few years thanks to his tricks with all those dangling straps and 'invisible t-shirts' and hideous gaping holes in unlikely places.

    But I don't think it has translated into sales: The Helmut Lang shop in Paris is always empty and the rails in Printemps and Bon MarchŽ stay full from the beginning of the season to the end of the sales. Of course there is always going to be a showy queen who wants a cotton neon green shoulder holster (120 euros) but that mustn't be enough to keep the company going.

    It might be simply that HL is not a 'Paris' designer. Perhaps he does better in New York or northern Europe, which I would imagine to be more productive territory for him.

    I'm probably alone here, but I prefer his minimalist luxe, New York period. I have lots of stuff from around 99-2002 and it's all very well cut, in wonderful fabrics and attractive colours. There's enough interest in the cut or in little details to keep fashion people interested but it's also sober enough for bores like me. I also used to love the yellow cabs in New York with Helmut Lang signs!

    I wouldn't mind if he continued to sell these classics alongside his headline-grabbing experiments. However (and this might be more Prada's fault than HL's) the quality of the fabrics has gone waaaayyyy downhill since then. Many fabrics just feel cheap, not helped by a couple of poor colour choices that make the clothes feel cheap too.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Helmut Lang resigned

    I have heard many similar opinions that his stuffs have a v. poor quality of late and it were to blaim Prada for cutting cost.

    The "low cow" issue was said to be one of the reasons that cause Jil Sander resign in Nov. for the second time.

    It is shocking that the HL sale were dropped to 27 mln. usd from the 100 mln. at the highest.


    Here is an earlier art. from wwd
    PARIS÷ If Jil left Jil Sander ÷ twice ÷ could Helmut exit Helmut Lang?

    Speculation is rife in Europe that tensions between Lang and the Prada Group are mounting and may be nearing the breaking point.

    Through a spokesman, Lang declined to comment. On Tuesday, a Prada Group spokesman also declined to comment.

    According to sources, the two sides are at odds over the direction and development of the Lang fashion house, upon which Prada Group tightened its grip last fall, buying the 49 percent it needed to gain full control.

    In a sign of how tense relations have become between Prada and the Austrian-born, New York-based Lang, the designer is said to have recently removed some personal belongings from his Greene Street flagship, including large artworks on the selling floor, that reinforced his edgy brand of cool.

    ăThis could be heading in the direction of Jil Sander,ä said one source, referring to the insurmountable clashes that caused Sander to leave her namesake fashion house for the second time in November. Sander was succeeded by the design team she left behind.

    When Prada announced its increased stake in Lang during Paris Fashion Week in October, the company characterized it as a ăclear demonstration of how strongly we believe in the potential of the brand. We have enjoyed a solid relationship with Helmut over the past several years and look forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration in the years to come.ä

    The new business arrangement seems to have put an additional strain on the relationship between formidable Prada chief Patrizio Bertelli and the uncompromising Lang. ăWhen you become an employee, itâs difficult,ä said one source.

    That tension between the designer and his Italian owner predates the recent transaction is well understood. Thorny subjects include the merchandising of the collection and creative control of the accessories categories, where Prada has particular expertise and a category that it has been eager to expand at such labels as Sander and Lang.
    ............
    Prada bought a 51 percent stake in Lang in 1999 during an acquisitions spree by Europeâs luxury groups. At the time, the Lang brand was flying high, and wholesale volume was said to be approaching $100 million. But sales declined in subsequent years, and in 2003, they dropped 33.1 percent, to 27.85 million euros, or $37.1 million at current exchange rates. Prada said at the time that it was still attempting to reposition the brand and therefore had closed some unsatisfactory wholesale accounts. At that time, a Prada spokesman also said that closing those accounts, along with macroeconomic factors such as a strong euro, SARS and the Iraq war, had hurt Langâs sales figures.

    It is believed the brand loses money, as the Prada brand contributes an estimated 136 percent of group operating profits.
    .........
    Prada has repeatedly denied speculation it wants to sell the Helmut Lang company.
    http://blogsorbeta.blox.pl: CdG Series 8 Energy
    (Oct. 3rd).

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