By and  on April 27, 2007

PARIS — Hugo Boss AG on Thurs­day named a new creative duo for its Hugo brand, with Eyan Allen as creative director and Bruno Pieters as art director.

The creative structure is a new one at Hugo, a trendy label founded in 1993.

The previous creative director was Volker Kaechele, who left the company in December.

Allen, who will be coordinate the collection and manage the creative team, has held similar posts at Ellesse, Nike, Puma and Adidas in Europe.

Pieters, who has a signature label in Antwerp, will maintain that business and act as an external consultant for Hugo, responsible for the design and strategy of the collections. WWD first reported that Hugo Boss had its eye on Pieters on April 19. Both men start at Hugo on June 1.

Hugo is in 48 countries, with some 1,100 points of sale for men's wear and 370 for women's wear, which was added in 1998.

Meanwhile, bolstered by a stellar performance of its women's wear business as well as strong sales of shoes and leather accessories, Hugo Boss AG on Thursday posted robust first- quarter earnings.

The Metzingen, Germany-based firm said net income for the quarter ended in March jumped 18 percent to 70 million euros, or $92 million. Dollar figures are at the average exchange rate.

Earnings before interest and taxes increased 13 percent to 99 million euros, or $130 million.

Sales for the period gained 9 percent to 500 million euros, or $655 million. On a currency-adjusted basis, sales rose 12 percent, the company said in a statement.

The women's wear business "performed particularly well," the company said, adding sales rose 42 percent to 62 million euros, or $81.2 million.

Sales of shoes and leather accessories increased 26 percent to 58 million euros, or $76 million. Sales of Hugo Boss retail climbed 28 percent to 52 million euros, or $68 million.

The company said sales in Europe rose 11 percent to 366 million euros, or $480 million. In local currency, sales in the U.S. jumped 17 percent. In euros, sales gained 7 percent in the U.S. to 54 million euros, or $71 million.Sales in Asia and "other region" rose 11 percent on a local currency basis, and 4 percent on a reporting basis to 48 million euros, or $63 million.

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