Hugo Boss is making efforts to bridge the gap between the brand's men's and women's lines. "We need to bring the woman closer to the [Boss] man and build on our heritage — it's suiting, it's precision," Ingo Wilts, chief brand officer for Hugo Boss, told WWD while here to celebrate the opening of the brand's new generation store at Mall of the Emirates.
"We have to rebuild the women's. Our woman always has to be feminine and sensual but she also has to be sexy. I think the mistake we did over the past years, we went a little left, right and center," said Wilts, who is responsible for all creative and brand management.
"We do need to address the younger customer in our product."
But he added that they will be driven by styling, not age first and foremost. "You can dress a younger woman with the same product as you dress an older woman. It depends on the styling. The younger woman might wear a skirt with a sneaker and the older woman with a more high heel." He admitted that overall the brand for women in particular has skewed old. "We want, like everyone wants, to speak to a younger audience."
The new store concept at Mall of the Emirates, which will be rolled out in other locations across the world, is part of that strategy. The styling conveys a more inviting, light feel for the brand. Key elements like comfortable seating areas, integrated skylights and digital LED mesh walls, create an overall elegant, modern effect. Wilts said in addition to the new look of the space, there will be a shift in product offering across the stores.
"Next spring you will see a much easier, more relaxed, Boss. It will be unconstructed. The collection is called the 'summer of ease'. Even in the campaign you'll see the woman and the man are very relaxed in their way of behaving. I want to show in the campaign that the man and the woman of Boss are much more than a business suit."
Suits will still play a fundamental role, however. "We are building on our heritage of the suiting and the tailoring. For the woman, she's having a blazer with no top under, showing more skin. For men, it's the suit with t-shirt and sneakers. This all makes it a new Boss."