Spanning just 18 years, Helmut Lang’s impact on the fashion world was monumental. The self-taught designer created a new design language and his name became a byword for minimalism, deconstruction and utilitarian aesthetic. His hallmarks defied the shock factor and seemed so basic but so refreshingly opposing to the Gaultiers and the Muglers of the time. With the raw, stripped-down, industrial and sharp quality of his designs, he refined the silhouette of the ‘90s and early ‘00s. He was responsible for the New York – London – Milan – Paris order of fashion week as it stands today, creating a calendar that served his transplanting his brand to New York in 1998 and staging the show before the beginning of the season. A phenomenon that burst and burned many norms of the fashion world, fashion’s anti-hero was the first designer to live stream a runway show on the Internet, and the first to advertise on taxi cabs. He broke away from the runway show-as-spectacle in the height of the ‘80s opulence and brought the street onto the runway, inviting an anti-fashion crowd of punks and ravers into the catwalk fold. That way, he created a mash-up of high and low fashion and elevated a ready-to-wear garment into something avant-garde. Renowned for designer denim, garments based on bulletproof vests and bomber jackets as well as the use of straps and harnesses, he is the creative father of Raf Simons, Phoebe Philo and many, many more. Having a hardcore disaffection for established fashion, he juxtaposed natural with technical, shiny with opaque, luxe with cheap. He would use rubber, back silk with nylon, use textiles blended with metal in order to create new textures. There’s a rawness and offness in his designs and a bizarre sense of an unintentional and unwanted good taste. After retiring from fashion in ‘05 he burned a large portion of his clothing archive, shredded the rest and formed the remains into sculptures, renouncing the modern fashion industry and celebrating his new life as a sculptor.