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Peter Do: The career trajectory of Helmut Lang's new creative director

By Veerle Versteeg


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Peter Do FW22. Image: Spotlight Launchmetrics

Fashion designer Peter Do, known for his unique aesthetics and innovative designs, has been making waves in the fashion industry since his early days. Born in Vietnam, his passion for fashion led him to the US, where he had the opportunity to pursue his dream to be a designer.

Do's journey in fashion began at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York, where he enrolled in 2011. His distinct style, a blend of minimalism and tailoring, earned him the CFDA's Liz Claiborne Design Scholarship Award in 2012. This accolade marked him as an upcoming talent in the fashion world.

After FIT, Do had the opportunity to work under Phoebe Philo at Céline, an experience that significantly shaped his design philosophy. Here, he learned the importance of precision and the power of silence in design. Following his stint at Céline, in 2018, Do launched his eponymous brand, backed by his mentor, designer and Parsons graduate Derek Lam. Do’s collections, lauded for their elegant tailoring and innovative fabrics, matched his commitment to crafting modern clothes that never go out of style.

Do's work was recognised with several prestigious awards, including the inaugural LVMH Graduate Prize in 2014 and becoming a finalist for the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers in 2020. Last year, he was also one of the finalists for the Andam Fashion Award in France. These recognitions positioned him as one of the rising talents in contemporary fashion.

On May 10, 2023, Peter Do announced via an Instagram post that he had been appointed as the creative director of fashion house Helmut Lang.

Helmut Lang, founded by the Austrian fashion designer of the same name, was owned by the Prada Group between 1999 and 2006. However, the luxury group failed to make the brand a success and sold it to Link Theory Holdings (LTH) in Tokyo, Japan, in 2006.

LTH was then acquired by Uniqlo-owner Fast Retailing in 2009 and became its subsidiary. The retail group, which is also based in Japan, already owned a stake in Theory but through the acquisition snapped up the remaining 68 percent to take it over.

Theory includes both the brands Theory and Helmut Lang. For the second quarter of 2023, which applies to the three months leading up to February 2023, Theory reported a large increase in revenue, of 70.2 billion yen (about 522 million dollars and 415 pounds) but a decline in profits.

In Fast Retailing's most recent financial report it stated that it is looking to expand its international brands in 2023, which include Theory.

According to the information on the brand’s website, Helmut Lang currently has two brick and mortar stores worldwide. One is located in Ginza, Tokyo, and the other in the Meatpacking District in New York City, New York.

Peter Do, new creative director at Helmut Lang

Commenting on his new role via Instagram, Peter Do said: "Last year, when I was thinking about the next move in my career, one thing remained consistent even when everything else felt uncertain. I needed to continue doing my part in helping the city I love most regain its stature as the centre of gravity for everyone who cares about radical thinking in fashion.

”During the most formative days of my own fashion education, no one embodied this spirit more definitively than Helmut Lang. As such, it is my deep honour to be entrusted with ushering in the next chapter of Helmut Lang's legacy.”

Do continued: “I am thrilled to learn from the foundations this house stands on and to continue creating new, energetic clothes that inspire people to challenge their understanding of what is possible when it comes to expressing their individuality. Lastly, I'd like to thank Yanai-san, Kazumi Yanai, Dinesh Tandon, and the teams at Helmut Lang and Fast Retailing for trusting me with the opportunity of a lifetime...and I look forward to opening up the conversation with all of you soon.”

Do’s debut for Helmut Lang will be the brand’s SS24 collection, to be presented at New York Fashion Week in September.

This article text has been partially generated with an AI tool, and then edited by Veerle Versteeg.

Fashion Education
Fast Retailing
Helmut Lang
Peter Do