After two years and uncertain financial results, Alexander Wang and Balenciaga have decided to part ways — but Hugo Boss's partnership with Jason Wu, now entering its third year, is continuing to pay dividends for the German apparel company.
Once again, sales of Boss's core womenswear brand grew in the double digits, up 13 percent in the second quarter of the year in local currencies, well surpassing a 5 percent increase in collective womenswear sales and a 7 percent increase in menswear sales.
Overall, Hugo Boss brought in €647 million (about $709 million) for the quarter, up 16 percent thanks in large part to the same currency fluctuations that benefitted LVMH and Hermès. At constant exchange rates, sales were up 7 percent year-over-year.
Sales were strongest in Europe, up 7 percent overall and increasing "at a double-digit rate" in the UK. Australia and Japan also saw double-digit sales increases, while Asia increased 5 percent overall. Sales in the U.S. flatlined, however, up only 1 percent for the quarter; sales in the larger Americas region grew 5 percent in local currencies.
Like many brands stocked heavily at department stores, Hugo Boss's wholesale orders took a dip — to the tune of 3 percent — which was helpfully offset by a 12 percent increase in its own retail business. Last year's redesign of hugoboss.com helped the company's online business grow 34 percent during the quarter.
The company is now putting its momentum behind Wu's very first handbag for the brand — dubbed Bespoke — which hit stores last month.