A Fashion ‘Prodigy’ Makes a Big Debut. No Pressure.

Peter Do held up a pair of Helmut Lang jeans by their pockets, pulling them against his waist. The denim was off-white, splattered with white paint and softened with age. I’d already reached out to feel the fabric, pinching it between my fingers, when Mr. Do said that he’d never washed them.

“Maybe that’s kind of gross to some people,” he said. “I’m just scared of destroying them.”

Ten years ago, he’d bought them at a vintage store for about $300, he said, and now he was showing them off in the Helmut Lang headquarters, in the meatpacking district of Manhattan. Mr. Do had arrived at the company in May, fresh-faced

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