At first glance, you might mistake him for a less glittery version of a glam-rock-era David Bowie. With a voluminous shell of slicked-back blond locks and form-fitting, jet-black attire, Berlin’s Helmut Geier, a.k.a. DJ Hell, an electronic-music innovator and the head of acclaimed techno and electro label International DJ Gigolo, may not be rebelling against the flower power of the ’60s, but he’s still no conformist.
Recently, Hell has found himself at odds with electronic music’s prevailing style. Hip-hop dress has pushed Technicolor hoodies and baggy jeans to the fore of DJ fashion. More in stride with the high-fashion world, Hell prefers a sexier, tailored look. As he puts it when we call him during his New York visit, post–Miami’s Winter Music Conference, “I work hard to individualize my concepts and photo shoots. But lately these ideas are not fitting well with the DJ world.” Often commissioned by the likes of Donatella Versace to provide compositions for runway shows, Hell makes style cues that would have a better audience in Karl Lagerfeld than Kanye West.