Hugo Boss

‘It’s More About Substance than Packaging’

German national soccer team wearing Hugo Boss suits in 2014. Source: Hugo Boss
German national soccer team wearing Hugo Boss suits in 2014.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Claus-Dietrich Lahrs has breathed new life into the Boss brand, perking up the firm’s turnover and expanding its customer base around the globe.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Boss hired Jason Wu to reinvigorate its women’s collection.
    • Mr. Wu came to prominence after designing several dresses for U.S. First Lady, Michelle Obama.
    • Some 60 percent of Boss employees are women.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

Claus-Dietrich Lahrs left Paris in 2008, where he was the Managing Director of Christian Dior Couture since 2003, for the provincial German environs of Metzingen, south of Stuttgart, to take over the reins of fashion label Hugo Boss. But he’s made the best of it – for both the firm and its customers.

Handelsblatt: Mr. Lahrs, as one of the world’s biggest men’s fashion labels, you must know: What’s wrong with the German man these days?

Claus-Dietrich Lahrs: He’s just fine, even if we’re not tailoring things just for him, but also for men in the USA, Russia and China. Our fashion works just as well in Metzingen as Paris and Beijing, though Chinese men are a bit smaller and therefore receive appropriate wares, for example, with slightly shorter sleeves. On the other hand, American men start optimizing their bodies at the gym much earlier. That also has to be accounted for size-wise. But the suit remains the same. It’s just details changed by tailoring.

We were asking less about the body and more about the psyche.

One affects the other.

It seems as if men are having a true identity crisis in 2014.

How’s that?

Role models are changing. Women are rightly demanding more say and responsibility. There are talks of quotas for female managers in Germany. A Boss suit can’t help …

… or at least only superficially. In the end it’s naturally more about substance, not the packaging. It’s true old attitudes have broken down, such as: I’m a man and therefore I’m entitled to this or that. Nobody believes that, and I find that good.

The head of Hugo Boss since 2008: Claus-Dietrich Lahrs. Source: Julian Baumann
The head of Hugo Boss since 2008: Claus-Dietrich Lahrs. Source: Julian Baumann
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