Hugo Boss AG, commonly just referred to as Hugo Boss, is a German fashion house. The name of the company comes from the founder, and the history of the company starts all the way back in 1924. Today, the company is one of the names often thought of when it comes to men"s fashion, but the company did not always have an easy time of things.
Hugo Boss in the Early Days
Boss started his company in a small town called Metzingen, which was just south of Stuttgart in 1924. The business started out very small, and the first years were actually not very promising. In fact, the company nearly folded entirely after just a few short years. The economic climate in Germany in the time was not good, and Boss was actually bankrupt. However, in 1931, he was able to make a deal with his creditors. They allowed him to have six sewing machines, which allowed him to restart his business. While it was smaller than before, it did start to take off, partially because of the political affiliations of Boss with the National Socialist party. He also supplied uniforms to the Nazis during WWII.
Not Without Plenty of Controversy
Supplying the Nazis with the goods they needed was something expected of all businesses in Germany during the war, naturally. However, the controversy around Hugo Boss stems from the fact Boss used POWs to make uniforms. The company management at the time were supposed to be great fans of Hitler, and Boss actually had a picture of himself and Hitler in Obersalzberg.
While the company may have had those negative connections in the past, the company continued. After the war in 1946, Boss was no longer allowed to vote and he was no longer allowed to run a business. He also received a fine. He died just two years later. The business, however, was able to go on and to become bigger and better without him, although it still comes up on occasion, such as 1997 when Hugo Boss was one of a number of companies named in a reparations lawsuit.
Boss Goes Beyond the Bad Years
Eugen Holy, Boss"s son-in-law, took over the business. In 1950, they received orders for men"s suits, which turned out to be quite popular. This helped the company to grow quickly and within a decade they were making a large number of off the rack suits annually. The first suits with the Boss brand on them did not appear until 1970, and they finally got around to registering it as a trademark in 1977. The company continued to make high quality clothing, but they soon expanded to other areas as well. They came out with their first fragrance in 1984.
They started sponsoring golf and tennis in the late 80s, and they started making licensed sunglasses in 1989. That same year, a Japanese group called Marzotto bought the company. They soon launched other brands and introduced their line of footwear. Today, they make a range of different styles and types of clothing, as well as other products, and they"ve been doing quite well. They generally make several billion in sales each year with hundreds of millions in profit.
The company currently has two main core brands, Hugo and Boss. They make formal wear, suits, casual wear, and more, and they have products for all. While most associate the company with men"s clothing, they do have women"s products as well. They have licenses with a number of companies including Children Worldwide Fashion, Samsung, HTC, and Procter & Gamble Prestige to create a number of products that bear the Hugo Boss brand.
People know the name Hugo Boss, and they no longer associate it with the negativity they did in the years after the war. When it comes purely down to the products, no one can argue that the company has nothing but quality. They make excellent products that look great and will last, and that is really what helps to make the brand memorable for most today. They have clothing products that people want, and ultimately, it is the style and the brand recognition that draws them to the company time and again.