What is probably one of the most unique brand collaborations of recent times, Hugo Boss has produced a 42-piece fashion collection featuring five exclusive porcelain mugs, in partnership with the heritage manufacturer Meissen.
Based 15 miles northwest of the German city of Dresden, Meissen was founded in 1710 by King Augustus The Strong, who originally summoned the young alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger to magic up gold from base metals. After several botched attempts, Böttger came up with something that proved to be just as precious: white porcelain, which was subsequently dubbed “white gold”. And thus the European fine porcelain industry was born and the near total dominance of the craft was wrested away from China
Since then, Meissen sculptures, dining services and objets d’art have graced the tables and palaces of royal families throughout the world. Known for its graceful lines, intricate detailing and a particular luminosity of colour, which makes it seem to glow with life, Meissen porcelain is collected avidly and can reach serious money at auction. The “Half-Figure” tea set, which was missing its teapot no less, was auctioned by Bonhams in 2012 for £541,250. Most recently, the state-owned company made fashion headlines via a one-off collaboration with Supreme. The figurine of Cupid wearing one of the brand’s T-shirts has an average sale price on Stock X of about £6,000.
Hagstotz also created an incredibly intricate monochromatic design, inspired by traditional African motifs, with which to adorn the figurines. Hugo Boss then applied this pattern to a range of specially designed leather accessories, shoes, clothes and five porcelain mugs, all made entirely in Germany.
“I wanted to do something different from what we normally do,” says Ingo Wilts, chief brand officer of Hugo Boss. “For us, collaborations are a chance to have fun. Our two companies have a lot in common. We are both big houses, very traditional German companies and we both produce our products in Germany.”
Just as important is the fact that both companies also believe passionately in doing things innovatively. “What I like about the Meissen collaboration is the modern graphic that Maximilian created. Also, the way they applied it to the figurines is very unusual,” says Wilts. “This is in line with how we work. We produce very modern suits but in a traditional way. This is where both companies follow the same direction.”
“People are surprised, but we are going big with this collaboration,” says Wilts. “The animals will be in our store windows globally and in our ad campaigns and lookbook. We want this idea of ‘Made in Germany’ to spread around the world.”
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