Chapter three: first Dubai, then Milan, now Miami. That’s how Marco Falconi, senior vice president of creative direction for Hugo Boss, described the brand’s latest collection reveal, held Wednesday night in Miami. Although its fall collection is still shown on the traditional fashion calendar in Milan, the German brand has embraced showing its spring collection through a see now, buy now format that it kicked off last year in Dubai.
This time around, the company selected the Florida city because it is not only a “very important market for us in the U.S.,” Falconi said, but also allowed the brand to make a “certain statement” and showcase a “more inclusive point of view.”
So bountiful was the casting and production eye candy at this splashy Boss show—Pamela Anderson! Law Roach! DJ Khaled! The fateful combination of a brisk offshore breeze and a fountain backdrop!—that your attention was at times blown beyond its reason to be. Beneath all the expertly executed social-facing amplification, however, Marco Falcioni’s collection, fittingly presented outside the old Miami Herald office, was newsworthy in itself.
“Miami is a multicultural hub,” he added, “with its Latin community, design, music and cinema. It’s an inspiring place.”
That showed in the collection, which embraced the brand’s history in tailored clothing — but reinvented in a modern way. There was an assortment of flowy jackets, pants and trenchcoats in classic colors and soft pastels that made their appearance in ethereal sheer fabrics in shirts, pants and dresses for both men and women. “This is the right moment to ride the wave of tailored, which is our cornerstone,” Falconi said. “But it’s more playful.
“One of the underlying motifs that inspired the collection is the exquisite tension that lies between contrasting elements, such as solid and fluid states; land and sea; opaque and transparent; past and present,” he continued. “This powerful juxtaposition serves as the cornerstone of a new exploration in prints, tones and textures, opening the door to a world that invites a creative, visual dialogue. It is a sartorial reflection in looking back to move boldly forward into the future and embody the spirit of a true Boss.”
The event, which was also livestreamed on the brand’s social channels, drew some 500 influencers, celebrities and key accounts and was followed by an after party at the Herald Plaza.
Some big names walked in the show including Naomi Campbell, Pamela Anderson, DJ Khaled, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Law Roach (who had revealed his retirement from styling the day before) and Precious Lee, and the front row featured celebrities such as Demi Lovato, Maluma, Suki Waterhouse, Rapman and Tiffany Haddish.
Only a few seasons ago, Boss, seeking a generational reset, dropped the Hugo and rejected the tailoring heritage upon which it was built. Now having reconfigured its reach through a dynamically inclusive approach to its models and storytelling, it has called that breakup to an end. But while the tailoring Boss returned to last night was very much archive informed—the brand was a big part of the Miami Vice wardrobe, and Falcioni was inspired by vintage L’Uomo Vogueads to reconnect with the artisanal Italian fabric suppliers Boss once co-labeled on its garments—it was also kinkily disruptive. By employing transparency and cutouts plus reemploying fustily anachronistic accessories such as ties, cummerbunds, sock garters, and barrel cuffs as suggestive physical punctuation marks, Falcioni transformed what was once dadcore into something much more stimulatingly subversive. Non-tailoring-based womenswear looks shared the satirically sartorial accessory details and countered minimalist silhouettes with subtle surface accents like layered crinkled finishings. Aluminum-bonded denim workwear bleached off-white was another element.
“We’re trying to reinforce that we’re a truly international brand with global relevance,” said Nadia Kokni, senior vice president of global marketing for Hugo Boss.
Through the Sturm und Drang of Etienne Russo’s inadvertently and invigoratingly hilarious staging—the Boss team had worried all day it would rain during this show, then both cast and audience ended up drenched without a drop falling from the heavens—the collection became sheerer than intended. Pamela Anderson—who said she had walked for Vivienne Westwood in the past but was excited to hit the runway (alongside her son Brandon) on home shores—had the audience whooping from the off. At one point Amber Valletta received a faceful of squally spray whooshed via a Boss-logo water feature from Biscayne Bay: She raised her arms to fend it off as if caught in a gale on some wave-battered fishing smack. Naomi Campbell, closing alongside DJ Khaled, raised her face toward the artificial tempest and laughed. Law Roach, making his modeling debut, had a blast.
Select items from the show were offered for sale online immediately afterward in some 68 countries in the U.S. and Europe.