Hugo Boss AG (Germany)

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Selected Hugo Boss advertising

Hugo Boss is one of Europe's leading designer fashion businesses, and the biggest by far in its home market of Germany. Best known for men's apparel, it has more recently established a limited presence in women's wear, and has global distribution through almost 7,800 third-party stores as well as around 430 of its own branded outlets. There are now just two lines: classic and higher priced main brand Boss; and more casual lower priced Hugo. Colour-coded brands Boss Orange, Boss Green and so on were discontinued in 2017 in favour of the main Boss brand. However the most familiar face of Hugo Boss is probably its extensive fragrance portfolio, run for more than 30 years by P&G, until its transfer to Coty in Oct 2016. The group enjoyed a generally strong run after 2010 before a sudden halt in 2015. Sales reached a record €2.8bn that year, but the group missed its profit target. A plunge in its share price resulted in the sudden resignation of CEO Claus-Dietrich Lars, followed by two other members of its executive board. CFO Mark Langer was eventually named as CEO in May 2016. Revenues for 2019 were just under €2.9bn, with net income of €202m. Germany is the group's single biggest market, followed by the US, UK, China and France. Langer will step down as CEO towards the end of 2020, to be replaced on an interim basis by CFO Yves Muller. Former Tommy Hilfiger leader Daniel Grieder will become CEO in June 2021. The modern Hugo Boss business was established in the 1970s by Jochen and Uwe Holy, grandsons of the eponymous founder, who ran a men's wear business in Germany from the mid-1920s until his death in 1948. The Holys successfully repositioned Boss as a premium fashion label, before selling out to Italian company Marzotto in 1991, ending their involvement. (They went on to launch Strellson, and acquired Joop! and other brands). Hugo Boss passed through several different hands, becoming part of Valentino Fashion Group for a while before it too was broken up. The Marzotto family reacquired a stake of what is now around 10% in 2015, but otherwise the group is publicly owned.

Capsule checked 27th May 2020

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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Social Media 12th Aug 2019: "Boss Curated". Regular readers already know that fashion and fragrance ads are our guilty pleasure here at Adbrands. Too much of the time, they're pretty but stupid; all pose and pretension; the Zoolander effect. Sometimes, though, something unusual slips through the net. That's more often the case if they originate at Fabien Baron's boutique agency Baron & Baron, like this gorgeous new spot for Hugo Boss fashion. There's no great concept here but the results are stunning, and perfect for the medium. Baron art directed; Craig McDean is the photographer. Lovely.


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