Hugo Boss redefines the suit for the modern workplace

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Hugo Boss redefines the suit for the modern workplace
Ingo Wilts says suiting has never been more relaxed and that borders blur between work and casual wear.

dubai - Brand now pairs oversized or double breasted suits with sneakers and a cashmere sweater

By Sujata Assomull

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Published: Wed 27 Dec 2017, 4:19 PM

Last updated: Wed 27 Dec 2017, 6:22 PM

In February, Hugo Boss held its first menswear show at a fashion week since 2008, perhaps a sign that the label - mainly known for its suits - is trying to redefine its credentials in the menswear segment. You can now expect Boss Menswear to be a regular part of the fashion week.

The German brand's move also indicates the change menswear itself has undergone over the years. The movement, if it can be called one, is not new - well over two decades ago, Casual Friday made the idea of wearing khakis at work seem cool. A game changer was when technology outshone banking and finance as an influential industry in its own right. Suits became passé for the men of the millennium and separates were the order of the day.

With the modern man staying away from suits, men's clothing brands have had to employ clever strategies to cater to their core clientele. In that sense, Hugo Boss has always been on top of its game, with chief brand officer Ingo Wilts being the driving force behind the 'new look' Hugo Boss. Wilts was in Dubai last month to unveil the newly refurbished Hugo Boss store at Mall of the Emirates. He talks to Khaleej Times about where the traditional men's suit is headed in 2018.

How has Hugo Boss managed to stay on top of its fashion game for so long?
We are known worldwide for our tailoring DNA and the suit is our key product. Hence, we are constantly working on the development, redefining and modernising our products to offer timeless modern pieces to fulfill our customer's needs. With our fashion show collections, we additionally show our more fashion-forward fashion expertise.

Hugo Boss is all about the suit, but perhaps the modern man is not wearing the suit as much as he used to. How has this affected your label?
Boss is about more than the perfect suit. We've immersed ourselves to taking a new approach to design, with a more fashion-forward result to fulfill customer needs. The suit will always remain a key product for us, but it is cut and styled in a modern way. Along with the suit, our product range also includes sophisticated casual looks that can easily be combined with our business and evening wear to provide solutions for all wearing occasions.

Are you selling more separates now than suits?
The sales of separates are constantly increasing. Today, our best sold "suit" model is a suit separate 'Create your Look'. A wide range to individually combine different sizes, fits and styles which match your body shape, personal taste and the occasion are available.

Why did you decide to take your menswear to the ramp after so long this year?
We decided to focus more closely on the brand's core business - menswear. We want to explore and show new aspects of Boss Menswear with a more fashion-forward approach. Hence, we decided to present the collection at the NY Menswear Fashion Week. However, womenswear will remain a key component of the brand. We will present our Boss Menswear FW18 Fashion Show Collection in New York again in February 2018.

How have you reinvented the suit to make it fit into the workplace of now?
We see a general trend towards athleisure and have also adapted the Boss codes of tailoring and fine quality to a very relaxed way in many pieces of our collections. Suiting has never been so relaxed with oversized or double breasted suits styled with sneakers and a cashmere sweater instead of a shirt and tie.

Out of work, do men have a more relaxed and fun approach to fashion? Why do you believe this happened?
I think borders blur between work and casual wear. The trend of casualisation that allows to style a suit in a more relaxed and casual way, for example, with a T-shirt or cashmere sweater and sneakers instead of shirt and tie shows there are no limits nowadays.

There are lots of layering options today. Can men have as much fun with their clothes as women?
Nowadays, there are less limits in dressing and men can play with their styling the same way as women.


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