Can Hugo Boss really be cool?

“You could go mountain hiking in there,” Mr Greider proclaimed, saying sales of suits for the brand picked up last summer, alongside reduced lockdown measures across the world. “People wanted to dress up and go to restaurants.”

(The “suit of tomorrow” will hit stores “late January.”)

There are still some classic Hugo Boss elements among these new clothes, that’s for sure: European couture, preppy, puffy shirts. (Mr. Grieder doesn’t want to alienate the brand’s existing customers, who might find the new look somewhat surprising.) But there are some forward-looking elements, too. A standout comes from the Boss line, in the form of a button-up set and oversized long-sleeved shorts, available in an on-trend burnt orange. And women’s lounge shorts have the voluminous proportions of basketball shorts, flirting with androgyny.

Why is Mr. Greider so convinced that this is the way to go? Because, he said, he had a secret weapon: the Gen Zers themselves.

Throughout the redesign, Boss hired teenagers to work as consultants and participate in photo shoots. “Gen Zers are a hot commodity,” said Miah Sullivan, who oversees marketing and communications at Boss and is a millennial herself – although what is perhaps truer is that Gen Zers who want to engage with big brand executives about suiting are a hot commodity.

“I go to this Gen Z consultant — he has an agency, he’s 17, and a complete boss — and he gives me advice on how to run, how to scale, how to change,” Ms Sullivan said. .

At times, the consultant, whom Ms Sullivan declined to name, also helped the brand find other consultants.

“It’s actually hard to find Gen Z on LinkedIn,” Ms. Sullivan said. “They are on TikTok.”

Whether they’re also in Boss while they’re on TikTok is now the hope — and the question.

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