Stagnating Market

Fashion Houses Face Risky Alterations

Luxury Clothing Inside A Hugo Boss AG Showroom
The Hugo Boss showroom in Metzingen: The company is being forced to make changes to meet new challenges.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Whether three struggling high-profile fashion brands can turn their fortunes around depends on how successful their new leadership strategies are as the market for premium fashions stagnates.

  • Facts


    • Mark Langer, the new leader at Hugo Boss, has to take steps to battle uncontrolled growth in marketing and distribution costs.
    • Whether new CEO Reiner Unkel can save Strenesse in the long term depends in part on the financial strength of its new owners, the Dutch Maeg Holding company.
    • At Escada, new boss Iris Epple-Righi will have to increase sales, which have recently fallen from €300 million to €270 million.
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The fashion industry loves elaborate runway staging and flowery marketing promises. But a number of problems are disturbing the glamorous world, and for a handful of German labels in particular.

“2016 is the year of consolidation for us,” said Mark Langer, the new head of Hugo Boss, referring to “painful decisions to make the group profitable again.”

Profits have plummeted at Germany’s largest men’s fashion designer. Mr. Langer’s predecessor, Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, was forced to leave in February. Mr. Langer, the chief financial officer, jumped provisionally before officially assuming the chairmanship in May.

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