By  on July 21, 2006

BERLIN — Hugo Boss opened a 21,536-square-foot showroom here during the Berlin fairs last weekend on Stralauer Allee.

The two-floor expanse in a former warehouse — Universal and MTV have their equally chic digs in the renovated waterside complex — has a glass back wall looking out onto the Spree River, a patio for summer entertaining and a huge living room-lounge section. The space is primarily devoted to merchandise, with the worlds of Hugo, Boss Orange and Boss accessories housed on the ground floor, and Boss Black for men and women in an open loft setup above.

This isn’t Boss’ first big Berlin investment, company spokesman Philipp Wolff said. The Metzingen, Germany-based fashion house opened two flagships for Hugo and Boss here and has staged two six-figure fashion events in Berlin; in addition, this was the fourth year Boss sponsored the Berlin Film Festival.

“We identify with Berlin,” Wolff said. “It’s close to our hearts, and this showroom, which replaces a smaller one, is a statement. Germany is our most important market, and to be present in the capital is a duty.”

But Boss isn’t doing this “just for fun,” Wolff said. “We’re here to earn money.”

Boss is doing well with its Berlin stores, he said, and the company’s growth in the last year means “we have to have major sales spaces in key markets, which is why we also have large-scale showrooms in cities like New York, Paris and São Paulo” as well as Düsseldorf.

In addition to catering to the 100 clients in the immediate Berlin area, the showroom is expected to attract buyers from the Netherlands, Belgium and the U.K. for a first Boss look during the Bread & Butter and Premium fairs here, as well as buyers from Eastern Europe year-round.

The Berlin opening came just two weeks before Boss’ celebration of the brand’s 25-year sponsorship of the McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 racing team. About 1,200 people have been invited to Hockenheim, Germany, on Thursday for a show of the new Boss Black and Boss Orange spring-summer collections, which will be staged on the Formula 1 race track.Also slated for this year is the opening of the first Shanghai store in September, a show in Moscow in October and the opening the same month of the new Rodeo Drive store in Beverly Hills, Calif., which will double in size, as well as the Hugo Boss prize ceremony in New York in November.

In Metzingen, a new building and showrooms are set to open at the end of the year.

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