Key to the various ways Lang presented his designs was an evident distraction from commercial elements, which led to an accumulation of symbolic capital to his label. This makes Lang part of a long line of fashion designers who were – and are – involved in sponsorship of the arts and engage with art through their marketing and retail channels … Lang kept the art world close by with various creative collaborations with stylists, photographers, architects, and contemporary artists, such as Louise Bourgeois and Jenny Holzer. The label’s New York flagship store functioned as the built embodiment of this minimalist aesthetic, lined with LED installations by Holzer and sculpture by Bourgeois, forming a crucial part of the architecture … As a branding strategy, this enables a luxury brand to construct an artistic identity that contributes to an obfuscation of commercial operations. Although the stories about his New York shop have taken on mythical proportions, when it is placed into context it was not in fact a rarity as the minimalist spaces of contemporary art galleries had a major influence on store design during that period. Rem Koolhaas argued that minimalism even became ‘the “single signifier” of luxury, aimed at minimising “the shame of consumption”’.
“Helmut Lang: From Fashion to Art and Back Again” by Elisa De Wyngaert