When it comes to men’s suits, German fashion house Hugo Boss is right up there with the likes of Italian menswear giants Giorgio Armani, Canali and Ermenegildo Zegna.
The Italians are of course well known for their cutting-edge designs, being trend setters, not only when it comes to men’s and woman’s clothing, but also in the world of house furnishings and sleek sports cars.
Hugo Boss produces clothing with a classic look and feel, a no-nonsense approach to design and manufacturing.
At Hugo Boss quality always comes before quantity, and just like that other German icon Mercedes-Benz, a Hugo Boss suit just oozes a timeless understated elegance.
Today Hugo Boss still battles to overcome a dark image left over from the Second World War.
Given the situation in Germany at the time, you could argue that Boss had little choice but to go along with the political changes that were happening in Germany.
Hugo Boss started his company in the tiny town of Metzingen, just south of Stuttgart in 1923 opening his first factory in 1924.
Initially manufacturing work clothing and raincoats the company struggled until they received a big order from the ‘National Socialist Party’ for shirts.
While the Nazis strength grew in Germany, so did Boss’s business, with the factory now getting orders to produce uniforms for the postal service and the police.
Being a pragmatist, Boss saw the writing on the wall and decided that if his business was to continue growing he would have to become a member of the Nazi party.
Boss joined the Nazi party in 1931 and was rewarded with a contract to produce army uniforms for the Wehrmacht in 1938.
The uniform contract saw his company turn over a million Reichsmarks, five times the amount he was making just two years earlier.
Still just a small to medium sized company, with just 250 workers, Boss like many other German manufacturers found it difficult to hire workers during the war.
Like many other German businesses, Boss used French, prisoners of war, and Polish forced labourers, to produce has clothes.
This black stain on the company still lingers today, despite numerous apologies and the fact that the company contributed to a fund to help compensate forced WWII labourers.
Modern day Hugo Boss became an international success story after the company decided to sponsor Formula One drivers in 1977.
Now a thriving business once more, with an international trademark, Hugo Boss caught the attention of Italian textile giant Mazotto.
In 1991 Mazotto bought a controlling interest in Hugo Boss and made it a part of the Valentino fashion empire.
Today 91% of Hugo Boss is floated on the Frankfurt Börse with the remaining shares owned by a London-based private equity group called Permia.
Permia quickly opened stores in China and the United States, while also diversifying the brand into woman and children’s fashion, along with a fragrance and watch range.
Today Hugo Boss has over a thousand locations that in 2014 generated a net income of 3.5 million euros.
The Hugo Boss store has two locations at Heathrow airport and is located in Terminal Two and Four after the security check point.
Terminal 2, after security next to Kurt Geiger and Paul Smith.
Opening hours: 05:30 – 22:00
+44 (0)20 8564 8316
Terminal 4, after security, across from World Duty-Free.
Opening hours: 06:00 – 22:00
+44 (0)20 8897 1431