NEW YORK — Hugo Boss is throwing conventional wisdom to the wind with the first store selling products from all of its labels.
Most fashion houses separate their collections, high from lower-priced and often men’s wear from women’s wear. Boss’ 4,000-square-foot store at 401 West 14th Street in the Meatpacking District is an experiment. The company’s hypothesis is that consumers will shop across many lines.
Hugo Boss has high expectations for the store. The first-year sales projection is a minimum of $5 million, said Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, chairman and chief executive officer.
“It’s a very targeted selection,” he said. “We decided it might be interesting to bring the sharpest and most unique items from each line together. Mixing interesting pieces from each brand could be very surprising. It’s a special moment in the history of Hugo Boss.”
Lahrs cited the opportunity to “show that we’re not only clothing men. We can talk about product like we’ve never talked about product before. The [sales] team will have to have an understanding of how different Hugo Boss brands can play together. We are going to be more alert and take lessons learned here to other stores. This is a playing ground and a laboratory. If this is successful we would definitely work on more stores like it.”
The unit, which opens to the public today, offers the Boss Black, Boss Orange, and Hugo labels for women and men, and Boss Selection and Boss Green for men.
Designs from the various labels make an eclectic presentation with a Boss Orange red calf hair miniskirt with patches of distressed leather, $850, displayed near an elegant Boss Black navy organza dress, $850. A quirky Boss Black skirt made from peacock feathers, $4,000, presents a different mood than a Hugo classic black strapless dress, $850.
There’s also a Boss Black double-faced calf skin trenchcoat, $3,495, a black cropped rabbit fur jacket from Hugo, $995, and a Boss Black lambskin coat with fur collar, $2,895. “You could pair a pair of cool jeans from the Orange collection with a great jacket from Hugo,” Lahrs said. “We haven’t played that way before.”
The design of the space is visually arresting, with a diamond-shaped wood canopy that creates a cocoon over the store. Architect Matteo Thun described it as a “supergrid.”
Although the furnishings — tufted black leather chairs, mirrored tables and red velvet curtains — are sumptuous, the architect took care to retain the space’s raw quality. The floor is concrete, brick walls are partly painted and exposed, columns are covered with layers of peeling paint and plaster. “We tried to save the soul of the Meatpacking District,” Thun said.
Light designer A.J. Weissbard created an elaborate illumination system that reacts to the time of day and the weather. It can also be preprogrammed to change colors every five minutes, giving a different look to the merchandise.
Lahrs said the Meatpacking District customer will be different than those at Hugo Boss’ other Manhattan stores at the Shops at Columbus Circle and Greene Street in SoHo. “This consumer has been shopping with Jeffrey New York,” Lahrs said, referring to the multibrand retailer on West 14th Street. “The consumer is very informed.”
While some luxury brands seem close to saturating the country with stores, Hugo Boss is still in a growth mode in the U.S. “The U.S. accounts for close to 20 percent of sales worldwide,” Lahrs said. “We’re going to grow the base.
“There’s still a white spot on upper Madison Avenue,” he said, noting that the company will look for a location on Madison next year. “Let’s see how the very new shopping destination of Wall Street [progresses]. We want to be careful, but we think there’s something to be done there. We think we have more room for stores in New York City. The FlatIron District is also interesting.”
Hugo Boss “won’t cannibalize [ourselves] in New York City,” Lahrs said. “There’s certainly a limit, but we haven’t touched the limit yet. We only have 35 stores in the U.S. If I look at our competitors, there’s room for growth, especially in cities where mall operators have developed a strong position.”
The Columbus Circle store will be renovated, he said.
Lahrs, who lived in Manhattan on 9/11, said, “This economy will take a bit longer, but it shows that the U.S. economy is the key to the world’s [economic well-being]. We are very highly interconnected. We need to find opportunities to develop this market. It doesn’t make sense to say we will stop now.”
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)