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New York

Boss

Spring 2018 Menswear

New York

BY William Buckley

July 11, 2017

That big-boy Boss brand has been about forever. Whenever I’ve styled almost any shoot at almost any magazine I’ve worked for, I’ve always stopped off at the company’s New York offices and taken that elevator down into the vaults where the various collections it’s had over the years are held. And there’s always been Boss.

Last year though was the first time the brand had shown menswear on the runway since 2008—it’s getting serious! Honestly, whenever I went to those vaults it was a bit overwhelming. For many years, they didn’t just have Boss and Hugo, but also Orange and Green labels…was there a White label too? Black? It’s hard to keep up when brands get so varied, but in this business, there’s always the need to do something new, so you churn out idea after idea until it’s too much of a jumble, and then, back to basics!

That’s exactly what Hugo Boss has done—just Hugo, which showed earlier this season in Florence, and Boss, which just showed like, 15 mins ago. It wasn’t basic. Although the codes of the Boss brand have always been more rooted in that clean, German design aesthetic than in anything ostentatious or extravagant, and while this season certainly showed those codes, there was a little more of that inner-city edge—a little streetwear, a little activewear—not so suited and booted as has been the brand’s bread and butter.

There was a small smattering of suiting but nothing like what I was expecting. The collection was much sportier—windbreakers were fastened with rope through metal rivets that gave something like a nautical feel, but the cut of the silhouettes felt much more LES than Cape Cod. 

Bucket hats were also in serious supply, with HBNY emblazoned on the sides. I asked chief brand officer Ingo Wilts why he was wishing New York a happy birthday. “No! It’s not 4th of July!” he laughed. “It was Hugo Boss New York, and we had bags with the coordinates of the store at Columbus Circle, so there are a lot of references going back to New York, mixed with nautical ideas because we’re here on the water.”

I wondered if that was just product for us vainglorious New Yorkers. “It will be released globally,” he said. “We’ve always shown here in New York,  so for us, it’s in our DNA. I’ve lived in New York for many years. It’s a very metropolitan city, it’s very international, so it suits our collection and our customer.”

Also of note, love of my life, Chris Hemsworth, was sitting opposite me. I thought he winked at me. I winked back. Then he continued trying to get whatever was in his eye out of it, and I realized he hadn’t winked at me at all. So there was that.

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