Helmut Lang is known its unconventional, offbeat advertising campaigns. In 1997, the innovative designer moved his fashion label from Paris to New York and was the first to launch a campaign atop of the city’s iconic yellow taxis. Dozens of brands have, since then, followed in its steps. Two decades later, Helmut Lang pays homage to the iconic ads by celebrating taxi drivers worldwide in its latest campaign.
London, Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo cab drivers feature in the latest campaign series, wearing hoodies and T-shirts in different primary colours with “taxi” written on them in small capitals. The brand has commissioned an emerging photographer from the various cities in order to authentically portray each city’s unique cultural identity.
Alexandra Leese documents the Hong Kong cab drivers in their red hoodies and muddied crocs; Patrick Welde shoots the Parisian taxi drivers in front of iconic landmarks; Kenta Nakamura photographs the bustling Tokyo streets; and Tom Emmerson captures London’s spirit through his images of the iconic black cabbies. Helmut Lang has also rereleased the original NYC campaign from 2017, which was shot by Alex Lee.
The campaign also includes short films of its taxi-driving protagonists. One video features a Hong Kong taxi driver telling the story of his 30-year career and talking about the liberating nature of his job.