By and  on November 8, 2006

BEVERLY HILLS — Hugo Boss celebrated the relaunch of its Rodeo Drive store with a lavish block party last month after a renovation that doubled the size of the unit, raising it to flagship status.

The streamlined, lightened-up store, which once housed only men's wear, gained 4,900 square feet, bringing its total square footage to 9,500.

"This is now one of our top flagships worldwide," said Andre Maeder, head of global retail for Hugo Boss and a member of the managing board. "We never build stores just for image. At the end of the day, they are built to sell."

The flagship now carries the company's three women's collections — Hugo, Boss Black and Boss Orange — on the ground level, with men's moved to the second floor.

The company's first collection of women's wear launched in 2000. "We wanted to make our women's wear very accessible on Rodeo, and also emphasize the importance of accessories," Maeder said.

The two-floor, modular-looking unit features dark walnut flooring and cabinetry, juxtaposed with white walls and stainless steel and lacquer shelving. Accessories walls dominate the front of the store.

Celebrities such as Mena Suvari and Djimon Hounsou shopped while hundreds of other guests enjoyed the Brazilian drummers and a DJ set up in the sidewalk lounge.

Maeder, who said Hugo Boss plans 10 new U.S. stores in 2007, also confirmed that the company will renovate its 22,000-square-foot Fifth Avenue flagship in New York in spring 2007, and its Chicago and Boston stores later that year. A 5,823-square-foot San Francisco store is slated for September 2007. The Hugo Boss brand, which is owned by Italian fashion and textile group Marzotto, is based in New York. The company has 25 directly operated stores in the U.S.

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