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Helmut Lang Taps New Men’s Designer

Link Theory Holdings Co. Ltd. has appointed former Issey Miyake designer Naoki Takizawa to design Helmut Lang’s men’s wear line.

TOKYO — Starting from the fall collection, Link Theory Holdings Co. Ltd. has appointed former Issey Miyake designer Naoki Takizawa to design Helmut Lang’s men’s wear line.

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“I’ve been a fan of Helmut Lang since the Eighties, so I approached president and chief executive Ricky Sasaki, who is an old neighborhood friend of mine, directly,” the designer said. “Helmut Lang is a ground-breaking brand that introduced a new kind of men’s style pairing T-shirts, jeans and middle-gauge knits with jackets. The brand is primarily worn by independent men who prefer a minimal style. Drawing from the brand’s heritage but also incorporating current fits, global sizing and my knowledge of materials and textiles, I want to address a void in the contemporary market.”

The brand was acquired by Theory from Prada in 2006, after founder Helmut Lang had already left the label. It made a second deb ut under the husband-and-wife design team of Michael and Nicole Colovos, founders and former designers of the denim brand Habitual.

“Now the ladies’ line is going very well, but the men’s has slowed down a little. Michael and Nicole concentrated on ladies’, so we appointed Takizawa, who understands the true nature of the men’s line and Helmut Lang’s history. We want to continue moving forward while also referencing the brand’s DNA,” said Sasaki.

Currently, annual sales of this brand are around 2 billion yen, or $214.7 million at current exchange.