Today will see the Paris presentation of Bruno Pieters’ second collection for Hugo, the edgy diffusion line of Hugo Boss. A graduate of Antwerp, Belgium’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, 31-year-old Pieters worked as assistant to Martin Margiela and Christian Lacroix before launching his signature ready-to-wear line in 2002 at age 24. In April 2007, Pieters was appointed art director of Hugo. Sales for the designer’s first collection there, currently in stores, rose 18 percent.
WWD: What’s your aim with Hugo? Bruno Pieters: The original idea for Hugo was to create an avant-garde, fashion-forward brand within the Hugo Boss Group. I’m trying to develop a look and codes for them that are recognizable and are theirs by focusing on their strengths, such as tailoring and cut. Hugo is known for suits and it’s an element I love to play with in my designs.
WWD: What was your vision for the spring collection? B.P.: I explored all that is interesting in Germany’s culture, its history and art scene, since it was a German company originally. This season it was Bauhaus. I wanted the whole collection to look very clean and graphic, with elements of classic men’s tailoring.
WWD: You’re holding a party here. Is it a sign you’re opening a store? B.P.: The last two shows were in Berlin. Next January we would love to debut in Paris. I think Paris is unavoidable tocreate growth.
WWD: How has your new position affected work on your own line? B.P.: I consider my own line today as a laboratory. It’s fun to do.
WWD: Is taking up design posts at established houses vital to your own brand’s survival? Are you receiving any financial support for your line? B.P.: I’m completely independent for now. One of the reasons I accepted this position is because I love to work on different projects. I also work for Delvaux, a little-known luxury leather goods house in Brussels — actually the oldest in Europe — a great place to learn the trade. Of course, having a contract with Hugo Boss does make life as a designer more comfortable.
WWD: You’re based in rainy Antwerp. Do you socialize much with fellow Antwerp designers? B.P.: Antwerp is very small. It’s like a village; everybody knows each other. I enjoy it because it allows me to focus on my work, whereas cities such as Paris have too many distractions. I went to school at the same time as many other designers, such as Kris Van Assche. When I was offered the position at Hugo, Raf Simons was so kind as to advise me on certain things. We all respect each other. We all work hard so there is not much time, at least not for me, to socialize often.
WWD: How is it to be a Belgian designer today? B.P.: I think it doesn’t have any importance today. I feel people accept Belgian designers as part of the industry. We are just there, as are London designers or New York designers. What I find is a positive change in fashion is this tendency to focus on the individual, and no longer the nationality. If there are many Belgian designers working for different companies, I think this is because they fit the brand, not because they are Belgian.
WWD: Looking back, do you think you jumped into launching your own brand too early? B.P.: Of course it was too early, but I don’t regret it. It was fun, naïve and completely mad but everything that happened was necessary for where I am today. I feel like I have learned a lot and that I can begin my journey.
WWD: What are the pros and cons of being a young, independent designer today? B.P.: This reminds me of what Julie Gilhart from Barneys New York told me when I presented my first couture collection: “There will never be enough good designers, always room for more.” Today the interest in new designers is very low. It exists in London. When the press and buyers have a moment of interest in a young talent, the difficulty, then, is the ability to compete with the quality, deliveries, etcetera, of established houses. This was for us a big issue in the past. As a young designer, you are also expected to present something different — extreme — to be noticed. Big companies can afford to show a press collection and a different showroom collection adapted to retailers; this is impossible for an independent designer with no financial partner. They need to show what they sell, which is not always very exciting or innovative. But it’s not all bad — if there is a will, there is a way. This is still very true, and there will never be enough good designers.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)