This 90s Brand Recruited NYC Taxi Drivers To Be Its Models

The roots of the beloved classic brand, Helmut Lang, go back to the bustling city of New York City. Back in 1998 when ads in Times Square and taxi tops were reserved for the likes of Broadway shows and high fashion campaigns, Helmut Lang became the first designer ever to utilize the mobile marketing stream, introducing his metropolitan brand to the whole city. As more and more brands further embrace diversity, the fashion industry faces a complete revamp of what it means to be a typical model.

Demna Gvasalia practically threw away the conventional high fashion model standard when he began recruiting regular people to walk his runways and pulling random strangers to pose for his street-shot lookbooks. Now, following the brand’s revival and a new team at its run, Helmut Lang is doing the same for its latest collection. Who better to pick than the bunch who have spent half of their lives roaming around NYC?

Entitled The Helmut Lang Taxi Project, the series of photos for the new line feature middle-aged New York taxi drivers decked out in expensive streetwear garbs and looking perfectly at home against the yellow cars in the backdrop. The capsule is a limited-edition range of taxi merchandise in celebration of the downtown brand’s origin and love for The Big Apple. The lookbook feels appropriately homey, certainly carrying that essence of Helmut Lang’s roots, which a lot of New Yorkers–who have grown knowing and loving the brand–can resonate with. 

Starting next week, 275 Helmut Lang-branded taxis will circulate New York City. Customers can purchase T-shirts (priced at $125) featuring an archival Helmut Lang taxi top image taken by Iain R. Webb in 2000, including hoodies in classic black and yellow ($210). The brand will also be doing a giveaway from one of its taxis, with details being announced on social media. 

The collection is available now at select retailers worldwide, Helmut Lang stores and online at


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