HUGO BOSS’ Top Designer Ingo Wilts on the Casualization of Menswear

We caught up with the chief brand at HUGO BOSS to see how he reimagines tailoring.

What is the inspiration for this latest fall collection?

For Fall/Winter 2018, we found our inspiration from New York. It’s such a vibrant city, saturated with imagery and icons of visual art, music, film, theatre, dance — and sport, too. There’s an interesting tension between a tailored look and a sporty, slightly relaxed silhouette. I appreciate when something is chic but casual, and executed in modern and technical fabrics.

How did you get your start in fashion?

I have been working in the fashion industry for 27 years. For more than half of my career, I have been working for HUGO BOSS. I know the brand inside out. I love the clean design language, the sophisticated attitude, the quality, the internationality of the brand, and of course, the people I work with. After this long, it really is a family.


What has been the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry since then?

Individuality became more important in the last decade, with the rise of social media, street style, and bloggers. BOSS Menswear has always offered bold sartorial elegance for the modern man, ensuring that he is perfectly dressed for every occasion. We still take that idea, but now look at it in a new way. Suits today can easily be combined with casual elements to make a statement or to be dressed down after work. The idea is to make clothes as functional as possible, so you can feel comfortable wherever you end up.

How do you define luxury?

Luxury for me is less driven by material things. For example, I never bought an expensive watch. I prefer walking at the beach, spending a lot of time with my family and friends, and having time to travel — to discover something special or unexpected. I’d include good food and maybe a good glass of red wine in my definition, too.

What do you think of the current state of menswear?

Today’s men expect their wardrobes to include far more than a traditional suit. There is still this huge trend of casualization and fashion for men is now linked more and more to “wardrobing.” A man wants to find garments in his closet that he can wear at any occasion, during the day or at night. Men now look for clever ways of dressing, and this reflects a new attitude towards men’s fashion. Modern menswear has to reflect those needs by making garments elegant and easy to style, but also functional. I like this approach. It allows men to mix and match, which makes fashion more fun.


What should every man have in his wardrobe?

Of course every man needs a great suit in his wardrobe.

What makes a perfect suit?

One that fits perfectly and is built from a high-quality fabric with an excellent inner construction.

What is one trend you’re tired of?

The athleisure trend.


What’s the next big trend in menswear?

I feel that in the future, men will want to dress even more comfortably. They will chose products made from innovative fabrics with smart features and greater performance — designs with more versatility, but the same elegance.