Helmut Lang campaign revisits taxi cab marketing approach

Helmut Lang was known as one of the ultimate urban labels of the 1990s and part of its comeback is emphasising this urban heritage with a new campaign that looks back to those days but with a contemporary edge.

Helmut Lang campaign- nostalgia marketing

Helmut Lang campaign using NY yellow taxis


In 1998 it was the first designer brand to advertise on top of New York City’s yellow taxis, taking over space that was more usually reserved for Broadway spectaculars or TV shows. The new creative work revisits the taxi cab link and adds in a limited edition collection, too.

And not only is the campaign happening on those taxis again, but it features the taxi drivers themselves, with the collection also including pieces that have been inspired by them.

The brand has launched the Helmut Lang Taxi Project (HLTP) and released a limited edition three-piece collection. It  comprises of long-sleeved graphic tees (at $125) and a taxi-yellow hoody ($210). It is all being promoted via 275 cabs in NYC.

The T-shirts come printed with taxi motifs that include an image of the earlier Helmut Lang taxi ads from the year 2000. The ad tagline is ‘Impress your parents, wear Helmut Lang’.

The concept has been driven by editor-in-residence Isabella Burley and current creative chief Shayne Oliver (of Hood by Air). The campaign was shot in an NYC parking lot.


Of course, this marketing approach is no good to consumers if they don’t happen to be in NYC but given that this is the social media age, the campaign is also being promoted via the brand’s social channels. And it includes a product giveaway from one of the Lang-branded taxis with details of that also due on social media.

It’s part of a Helmut Lang heritage that has seen the brand embracing ‘different’ ways of publicising its offer over the years, from advertising in National Geographic rather than the usual glossies, to taking the forward-looking step as far back as 1998 of live broadcasting its runway show online.

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