Kevin Lobo, Boss Black and Boss Selection designer
The Hugo Boss brands described in this interiew at Pitti Uomo 2011by Vincent Murphy
Hugo Boss, an iconic name in German formal wear, has over the last few years developed the brand to cover all the needs of the contemporary gentleman. Kevin Lobo has been with Hugo Boss for over 12 years, initially with Boss Black for jackets and suits, and for the last two years as the Creative Brand Director for Boss Black and Boss Selection, areas which take the brand well beyond the formal look of today’s businessmen.
The new collection really does cater for the entire wardrobe of contemporary men, “from Monday to Sunday” as Kevin Lobo rightly pointed out during my visit to the Boss Selection Stand at Pitti Uomo. However, unlike many brands, Hugo Boss hasn’t created that loud, informal wear that tends to contrast the formal wear that is often used by brands to provide a contrast with their business apparel. Instead, Boss Selection maintains an elegant and sophisticated look.
After working for various companies in Germany as a tailor and designer, Kevin Lobo finally settled at Hugo Boss where he has been for 12 years. I had the pleasure of meeting him at Pitti, and I asked him about the collection and some of the issues that surround it.
What was your inspiration behind the collection, and were there any specific objectives that you wanted to achieve with it?
First of all, there has been some confusion between Black and Selection. In the past, it wasn’t entirely clear where Boss Black finished and Boss Selection took over. Having just formal wear made this even more difficult, because some customers didn't really consider it a real collection, but more of an extension of Boss Black. Hence my first objective was to resolve this, by creating a full collection for Boss Selection, one that can easily be identified. We even changed the logo to make identification even more obvious.
Can you explain to our readers about the various brands and to whom they cater?
Well, let's say that a young businessman entering the Boss world would normally start with a Hugo suit that has a slightly younger and more fashionable look. Then, as he grows with the brand and in his career, we’d hope he will make the natural progression to Boss Black, which is more tailored, and uses more expensive fabrics. He may decide to stick with Boss Black for 10 years, then when he feels that he wants to become a little more sophisticated in his choice of design and fabrics, there is another level that can cater for his more advanced tastes without changing his look entirely. When we created Selection, it was in response to the needs of our retail outlets, who, after successfully selling Black, felt that some of their clients were looking for something more. We had to cater for these clients, otherwise there was the risk that they would eventually look elsewhere. This was the origin of Selection.
So Selection is the top of the range in the Boss Family?
As far as collections and total looks are concerned, yes. However, we still have Made-to-Measure, for those who want something very special. In fact the Hugo Boss Family caters for a man’s requirements from the day he starts work through to the end of his career and beyond. Without considering Boss Orange that is accessible to an even younger audience.
So where do you intend taking Boss Selection in the future?
Hugo Boss is about modern, authentic and innovative designs that can be worn by people of all ages. The different lines allow us to ensure that we cater for people who appreciate our values. These people tend to be self-confident, and don’t necessarily want their clothes to do all the talking. I intended to remain contemporary, without trying to shock our customers.
In fact, there have been rumours that price may become an issue for Boss Selection?
Price and quality always go hand in hand, and price should always be justified. The price has to be in line with quality. Boss Selection is good value for something that is of very high quality, as regards design, fabric and manufacture. This is why even the environment where you buy Selection should be part of the Hugo Boss experience, not just the product itself.
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