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4,143 $m

A new entrant in 2014's Best Global Brands ranking, Hugo Boss, the German luxury group, is growing both in terms of sales and in the number of directly owned stores--the latter  of which now account for 54 percent of sales. The umbrella brand, which includes BOSS, BOSS Orange, BOSS Green, and HUGO, clearly communicates its focus: from understated luxury to urban casualwear to edgier, fashion-forward styles. The brand strategy is well defined: maximizing brand identity, expanding retail, increasing global presence, and improving operations. According to CEO Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, specific targets include the Asian market and increasing directly owned stores by 50 per year. Hugo Boss is successful at communicating with consistency on its e-commerce sites and is updating existing stores to improve consistency in the brick-and-mortar world. Though the brand is best known for menswear, womenswear is now a key growth area. The hiring of a new Boss Womenswear Artistic Director Jason Wu in the summer of 2013 (Wu has designed for Michelle Obama and other female celebrities) reflects this strategic focus. Sponsorship activity includes Hugo Boss' partnerships with the German national soccer team, French footballer Olivier Giroud, and yacht racer Alex Thomson. (Alex Thomson's YouTube video "The Mast Walk," in which he wears a Boss suit, has grabbed nearly 1.5 million views.) Hugo Boss also has a longstanding relationship with McLaren Mercedes Formula 1. Its Fall/Winter 2013 collection, for example, featured F1 drivers Jenson Button and Sergio Perez. The company entered the art world earlier this year as well by sponsoring a career retrospective of fashion and portrait photographer David Bailey in London. If the brand can remain authentic and relevant across these diverse strands, its position as a global leader in the premium apparel market looks assured. 

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