Selfridges Pays Tribute to Fashion Icon Helmut Lang with Sustainable Runway Campaign

Ads, Business, Creativity, People

Department store teams up with vintage shopping service Byronesque and Great Guns for an environmentally-conscious homage to Lang’s game-changing 1998 fashion show

The ongoing climate emergency is continually influencing the way we choose to live our lives, with many brands and businesses making the move to a more environmentally-conscious output. After spending ten years placing sustainability at the heart of its business, department store Selfridges is now launching Project Earth, a major initiative that looks to transform the future of ethical retail. From selling pre-loved clothes to renting outfits and repairing old items, these new commitments are set to radically change the business.

In order to kick-start this new drive for sustainability, Selfridges has collaborated with vintage personal shopping service Byronesque for a bold new campaign that pays homage to fashion icon Helmut Lang. Directed by Tansy Simpson and produced by Great Guns, the #Langevity campaign celebrates the timeless work of the artist and fashion designer with a contemporary call-back to his game-changing 1998 fashion show.

Having collaborated with Selfridges multiple times in the past, Byronesque’s approach to fashion aligns perfectly with the Project Earth initiative – offering access to the largest archive of vintage-contemporary fashion whilst supporting the buying and keeping of clothes for a long time. This new range, The Byronesque Collection of Contemporary-Vintage Helmut Lang: 1991-2005, avoids environmental lip-service whilst celebrating the Second Hand September digital London Fashion Week.

Gill Linton, founder of Byronesque, comments: “Here we are in 2020, where digital fashion week is a necessity not a choice and where the world is reeling from the consequences of being culturally over-exposed and fashion design is adapting to more simple, austere aesthetics. Our homage to Lang’s 1998 show is our way of reminding people what a visionary he was and how relevant his archives are still today, when it comes to buying or renting clothes.”

Helmut Lang’s 1998 fashion show was the perfect touchpoint for this new campaign. The first designer to stream a fashion show live on the internet via CD-Rom, Lang’s original project was concepted and styled in one week and filmed on an empty catwalk with no audience. Selfridges and Byronesque’s new campaign acknowledges this iconic moment whilst injecting a contemporary edge – referencing the original rather than revering or replicating.

The new film, entitled ‘Love it a Lang Time’, combines Lang’s legacy with a message to buy, wear, and love clothing for a long period of time, changing everything ‘long’ to ‘Lang’. Set in an empty studio, we watch as models walk towards the camera, telling us to ‘love it a Lang time’. Moving away from the locked-off camera of the original shoot, the film progresses with more fluid movements to offer a new layer to the audience’s experience – a closer connection to the clothes and central message of timeless quality.

Justin Westover, Creative Director at Byronesque, comments: “Just like the Helmut Lang show that inspired us, we only had a week to shoot and edit this film – and it wouldn’t have been possible without Great Guns. The team and Tansy Simpson immediately got the historical language of Lang and brought a contemporary sensibility to it. They didn’t hesitate to help us give some substance and environmental conscience to fashion by making this film to support Selfridges’ Project Earth.”

Alongside emphasising the environmental importance of Selfridge’s new initiative, the team also worked to ensure the minimalism of Lang’s presentation wasn’t lost, whilst also offering a new and updated look at the collection and those who wear it.

Tansy Simpson, Director and DOP, adds: “The shoot was really fun – we had such a wonderful group of contributors who all believed in the message. Helmut Lang’s design and his iconic 1998 show was so ahead of its time – and so present in today’s current climate. It was imperative to all involved that we struck a perfect balance between referencing the original show and incorporating moments of 2020 too.”

The Byronesque Collection of Contemporary-Vintage Helmut Lang from 1991–2005 is available exclusively at Selfridges London and from 14–27th September.


Production Company: Great Guns
Director / DOP: Tansy Simpson
Executive Producer: Laura Gregory
Producer: Tom Morgan
Hair & Make Up: Prue Oliver
Hair & Make Up: Linda Brown
Sound: Ben Adams
Editor: Karel Van Bellingen
1st AC: Max Gabbay
2nd AC: Jade Boothby
Camera Assistant: Daniel Franklin