WWD reported this morning that designer Bruno Pieters will be leaving the HUGO by Hugo Boss label where he has been serving as art director since June, 2007.
In the few seasons that Bruno has overseen the line it has risen to become one of the most anticipated menswear collections. The past two shows, presented during Paris men’s fashion week, added much needed esteem to the Hugo Boss name. Pieters gave the line a distinct identity unapologetically rooted in the brand’s German heritage. His references ranged from Weimar era expressionist artists to Kraftwerk, forcing the Hugo name to carry a striking relevance for today while still maintaining a broad consumer appeal.
The end of the partnership, like so many of its ilk in the industry, comes with little surprise. While Bruno’s work for the brand propelled its image far beyond anything it has enjoyed for the past decade, many of his designs shown on the catwalk were doomed to never make it to the floor. Boss’s business team seemed to have the intention of building HUGO as their directional flagship brand under Pieter’s guidance, yet their buyer’s habits remained conservative, at least for the American market, and failed to translate the designer’s vision to the sales floor, minimizing any impact a well received runway presentation could have.
The good news is that with less projects on his plate Pieters could revive his signature menswear line which was proving to be one of the most exciting in Paris before it was shuttered to accommodate Pieter’s work with HUGO.