Hugo Boss AG- together with its subsidiaries- develops, markets and distributes apparel, shoes and accessories for men and women. It offers business, casual, athleisure and evening wear in addition to shoes and accessories and licensed products including fragrances, eyewear and watches as well as kidswear. The company markets and sells its products under the BOSS and HUGO brand names through online stores, freestanding stores, shop-in-shops and factory outlets.
Hugo Ferdinand Boss – the fifth and youngest child of Heinrich Boss and his wife Luise who jointly owned a lingerie and linen shop in Swabian, Metzingen – was the heir to his parents’ shop. He began an apprenticeship as a merchant before enlisting in the army during World War I and later opened his clothing factory in 1924 with financial support from two manufacturers in Metzingen. During its first years the factory handmade garments by hand including brown shirts for the National Socialist Party. Hugo F. Boss advertised his company during the mid-1930s as a “supplier of Party equipment since 1924.”
In 1929 the global economic crisis caused enormous problems for the textile industry and by 1931 Hugo Boss’ factory was near- bankruptcy. That year Hugo F. Boss became a member of the National Socialist Party which then placed orders for uniforms. Hugo Boss however took a long time to recover from the Great Depression. Post- 1938 the company received major commissions for army uniforms.
As per a company statement: “Up to 1942 the company’s annual turnover rose consistently to peak at just over one million reichsmarks. At that point it suffered a sharp decline due to the introduction of fixed commodity prices… during World War II the company chiefly produced uniforms for the German armed forces and the Waffen-SS: the armed wing of the SS. Although the company was forced to relocate in 1944 it still had one order pending for the Waffen-SS at the start of 1945.”
Overall Hugo Boss grew substantially during the Third Reich. Metzingen was occupied by Allied troops in April 1945 after which it became part of the French occupation zone. Subsequently Hugo F. Boss was forced to undergo denazification, during which he was initially classified as “incriminated” and reportedly fined 100,000 reichsmarks. The reasons for this sentence included his early membership of the National Socialist Party, the fact that he benefited financially from National Socialism, and his friendship with Georg Rath, the local leader of the National Socialist Party. Hugo F. Boss appealed against the initial sentence and was ultimately classified as a “follower”.
When the war ended.. the company initially continued to manufacture uniforms albeit for the French occupation forces and the Red Cross. Under the aegis of Hugo Boss’ son-in-law Eugen Holy.. production expanded until the end of the Sixties. The company had already begun selling suits during the Fifties and by late Sixties, its total sales had reportedl climbed to 3.5 million deutschmarks. In 1969 brothers Jochen and Uwe Holy took over the company and began evolving it into the global fashion brand it is today.
In 1984 Boss branded fragrances appeared and the company was listed listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange the following year. The brand began sponsorship of motorsports, golf and tennis. In 1989 Boss launched its first licensed sunglasses. Later that year, the company was bought by a Japanese group. After the Marzotto textile group acquired a 77.5 per cent stake for reportedly $165,000,000 in 1991 Hugo and Baldessarini brands were introduced. In 1995 the company launched footwear. An alliance with Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation was launched in 1995 resulting in Hugo Boss Prize: an annual $100,000 stipend in modern arts.
In recent times, Daniel Grieder joined the HUGO BOSS AG Managing Board as Chief Executive Officer in 2021. He is responsible for Company Strategy- Business Unit BOSS Womenswear- Business Unit BOSS Menswear- Business Unit HUGO- Global Marketing- Global Product Development- Licenses Management- HR- Corporate Communications. Per a company release- he explained the brand’s transformative vision: “With the branding refresh and the release of the star-studded campaigns we are ushering in an entirely new era for BOSS and HUGO. It is our aim to excite new and younger target groups and turn them into fans of our brands. Both campaigns are therefore an important step in further boosting brand relevance and in reaching our goal to become a top 100 global brand in the years to come.”
Hugo Boss’ vision is to be the premier fashion and lifestyle brand in the world.. inspiring our customers to look and feel their best every day. In sync with its motto “We love fashion. We change Fashion” Hugo Boss is entering a new era with a new culture and new branding. The team is achieving its motto by placing its customers at the center and ensuring “product is king” through digitalized creation and through an innovative omnichannel approach. In order to reflect its bold mindset the team is transforming the brand identity and beginning a new phase in its journey to become THE leading tech-driven fashion platform in the world.
Hugo Boss is committed to creating an exceptional customer experience built on trust, respect and quality products. The team strives to provide modern trendsetting apparel and accessories to enhance the lifestyles of their customers.
In line with the company’s CLAIM 5 growth strategy both BOSS and HUGO have undertaken a new modern brand identity focused on a younger global demographic. The collections, stores and omnichannel brand experiences will be centered on a more playful casual aesthetic while staying true to the brand codes of dressing excellence. Per a company release- Daniel Grieder- CEO- HUGO BOSS AG explained: “With the branding refresh and the release of the star-studded campaigns we are ushering in an entirely new era for BOSS and HUGO. It is our aim to excite new and younger target groups and turn them into fans of our brands. Both campaigns are therefore an important step in further boosting brand relevance and in reaching our goal to become a top 100 global brand in the years to come.”
An engaging customer-centric experience will also be unveiled on the hugoboss.com website. With more imagery, videos and inspiring content.. customers will have the opportunity to dive into the new products.. leading to a more enjoyable and immersive shopping experience.
HUGO BOSS has won numerous awards and recognition over the years including German Design Award, Fashion Group International Global Choice Award and Red Dot Design Award. Additionally, the company was recognized as one of the 2020 Fortune Global 500.