Welcome to News Bites, BoF's regular compilation of the stories that have got the industry talking.
Hugo Boss is looking to harness the box office power of Australian actor Chris Hemsworth for its tentpole men’s fragrance, Boss Bottled. Hemsworth, known for his role as Thor in the Marvel cinematic universe, will star in print campaigns for the fragrance (shot by Nathaniel Goldberg) and a TV commercial (directed by Nicholas Winding Refn). The entire campaign will debut worldwide this fall.
“It’s an iconic brand that’s been around for many years,” Hemsworth told BoF. “The qualities and the messaging of the brand spoke to my way of living and my way of thinking. The campaign is a very positive message of compassion and commitment. It talks about success and chasing your dreams, but doing that with integrity and honesty.”
The announcement comes at a time when the brand is working to reinvent itself. In May of last year Mark Langer was promoted to chief executive, replacing Claus-Dietrich Lahrs after years of flagging sales. In November, Langer set forth a plan to streamline the business, doing away with the BOSS Orange and BOSS Green lines, focusing instead on apparel at a more affordable price point, and making adjustments to its wholesale business to help control pricing. In its most recent quarterly earnings report, the brand saw a modest uptick in sales in Asia and Europe, while numbers dipped slightly in North America. Hemsworth is expected to help drive fresh excitement around the brand, especially in relation to Boss Bottled which has remained essentially unchanged for nearly 20 years.
“One of the key reasons Chris is so good for us is that we tried to update the definition of the modern, successful man,” says Edgar Huber, president of Coty Luxury, the beauty manufacturer that works with Hugo Boss to produce the fragrance. “He very much fits into this. He’s respectful, he’s not walking over others. He’s a good family man. He’s a little bit the ‘anti’ of what certain other successful people are,” Huber says.
“Chris Hemsworth is a successful man who is true to himself — in both his professional and personal life,” echos Ingo Wilts, chief brand officer and board member at at Hugo Boss. "And very importantly, he looks fantastic in our suits."
Boss Bottled, which first debuted in 1998, is the number one male fragrance in Europe and number five worldwide. According to Coty, approximately one bottle is sold every two seconds.
Traditionally, brands license their fragrances to companies like Coty and have limited involvement in its day-to-day operations. However Coty and Hugo Boss are working closely to help create a more unified message. Indeed, Hemsworth will attend the Hugo Boss runway show next week, for New York Fashion Week: Men’s. “It's crucially important that we completely and totally align with what the fashion houses and brands are doing in terms of the values we represent, the advertising, the products,” Huber says. “It’s really an extension of what they’re doing.” — Max Berlinger
Charlotte Olympia has signed a strategic partnership with Onward Luxury Group.
The deal will see manufacturer and distributor OLG acquire a controlling stake in Charlotte Olympia for an undisclosed sum, though the brand's creative director and founder Charlotte Dellal, and president Bonnie Takhar, will continue to helm the company in their current roles.
The partnership is part of a wider expansion plan by the British footwear and accessories label, that aims to accelerate growth within Europe and Asia. Charlotte Olympia currently has 11 standalone stores globally, and stockists including Printemps, Harrods, Bergdorf Goodman and Isetan.
“OLG has a proven track record in developing global brands and businesses,” says Charlotte Olympia president Bonnie Takhar. “Our partnership allows us to leverage its strategic capabilities in development, manufacturing and and bringing luxury goods to the market. This will help Charlotte Olympia to continue to grow our luxury presence on a global basis, across each of our retail, e-commerce and wholesale channels.”
“We have followed the incredible success of Charlotte Olympia for some time and admired the brand’s ability to become one of the most innovative global players in the shoe industry,” adds Franco Penè, chairman of OLG.
OLG, an Italy-based subsidiary of Japanese group Onward Holdings, boasts an extensive portfolio including Joseph, Jil Sander, Véronique Branquinho and Moreau Paris. Through licences, it also manufactures and distributes ready-to-wear for Rochas and Antonio Berardi, and footwear for Proenza Schouler, Rochas and See by Chloé. — Tamison O'Connor
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