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MUNICH — Hugo Boss is looking to score a triple play with its first jewelry collections launching this fall.
This story first appeared in the May 19, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The German fashion house is entering the women’s and men’s fashion jewelry market under three brand names: Boss Black, Boss Selection and Boss Orange. The collections will bow at 1,000 doors in the brand’s key markets of Germany, the U.S., the U.K., France, Italy and Spain. The retail network will span directly owned and franchised Boss stores, as well as jewelry and department stores.
Manufactured under license by Amazar Holding, a subsidiary of the Swarovski Group, jewelry is Boss’ fourth licensed business, joining Procter & Gamble for fragrance and cosmetics, Safilo for eyewear and Movado for watches. Boss executives would not discuss first-year sales goals.
“It’s just a beginning, but we think it has big potential,” André Maeder, Hugo Boss managing board member responsible for retail, licenses and the Hugo line, said at the jewelry launch in Munich last month. “It’s a nice new business to be in, and in five years could grow to be bigger for us than watches and eyewear.”
Overall sales of licensed goods in 2007 increased 11 percent to 577 million euros, or $790.7 million at average exchange, for the year.
The collections, with 108 styles in all, will be manufactured in England, France, Germany and Thailand. The jewelry bears the signature of Boss creative directors Ingo Wilts for Boss Black and Selection and Andrea Cannelloni for Boss Orange.
“The jewelry is designed in the same direction as the clothing,” said Wilts. “The DNA is really from us. Amazar is a division of Swarovski, though we don’t use Swarovski stones. It doesn’t fit us. We come from an architectural background and are clean, sophisticated and driven by [architectural] ideas from the Bauhaus.”
For the five Boss Black women’s jewelry themes, this translates into the use of sterling silver chain links, synthetic resin and metal combined with Crystallized Swarovski elements, spheres and tassels in antiqued silver-colored chains and links in pink gold and polished silver for earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets. Sterling silver dominates the four men’s Boss Black jewelry groups, which offer cuff links, rings, pendants and bracelets. Some of the collection was redesigned and modernized from vintage pieces found at flea markets, Wilts said.
The Boss Black collection will retail from 79 to 620 euros, or about $125 to $980 at current exchange rates. The jewelry will be supported by special ads, events and corners in stores.
Boss Selection is a cuff link collection incorporating stones like onyx, bronzite, quartz and mother-of-pearl set in sterling silver, as well as pure sterling silver designs.
For the more freewheeling Boss Orange collection, Cannelloni looked to channel the vibe of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis, the unpredictable, nonchalant role models for the fall Orange fashion collection with its ponchos and baggy, retro boy looks.
While some men’s items, like the mixed silver chains or leather and chain combinations, are sure to be picked up by female customers, the Boss Orange women’s jewelry range has a more direct link to the signature crystal concept that launched the women’s fashion line in 2005.
“Of course, there’s been an evolution, so now we’re using a turquoise stone, which means every piece will automatically be different, because each stone is different,” Cannelloni said.
The stones are mixed with sterling silver and brown leather lariat laces, while other themes play with vintage-style coins, different meshes mixed with stones and fringe, and grunge-inspired padlocks and chunky metal chains.
Boss Orange jewelry is set to retail for 65 to 340 euros, or about $103 to $538. Women’s styles represent about 60 percent of the assortment.
The timing for a Boss jewelry launch couldn’t be better, both designers noted.
“I think jewelry is getting very important right now,” Wilts said. “Clothing is getting very clean, which means women now want something to show off a bit more. The runways were packed with jewelry in Paris and I think we’re seeing a trend. Years ago, the catwalk was about fashion only. Then five years ago, it was clothing and bags. But in the future, it’ll be fashion, bags and jewelry.”