Claus-Dietrich Lahrs was appointed chief executive of Hugo Boss in 2008, believed by many to have been brought on board to oversee and capitalise on the brand's emergence in China. Lahrs is responsible for Hugo Boss, BOSS and the brand's licenses, overseeing lines that include menswear, womenswear and fragrances.
During his tenure, Lahrs has focused on own store retail sales, the “growth engine” of the company, with “double digit growth in 2012.” Hugo Boss opened 218 branches in 2012, including stores in Brussels, Toronto and Melbourne, as well as a big push in Asia, taking the brand’s total store locations to 840. To meet its target of €3 billion in revenue by 2015, the group aims to open 100 more stores. Store openings are not Lahrs’ only strategy for growth; the executive lured designer Jason Wu to the company as artistic director to reinvigorate the company’s womenswear offering, traditionally not as strong as its menswear.
Prior to his appointment at Hugo Boss, Larhs was chief executive of Christian Dior Haute Couture from 2003 to 2008. He began working with LVMH in 1997, leaving a marketing and sales vice presidency at Richemont’s Cartier to become managing director of Louis Vuitton in Germany. In this role, he oversaw Louis Vuitton, Céline, Loewe and Kenzo in Germany. He was appointed president and chief executive of Louis Vuitton for the United States and Canada in 2000, a position he held until he was appointed president of Christian Dior Haute Couture.
A keen sportsman, golf in particular, and known for his open smile, Lahrs is a veteran fashion executive set to continue Hugo Boss’ steady growth trajectory.