|Intro||German fashion designer|
|A.K.A.||Hugo Ferdinand Boss|
|Was||Designer Businessperson Entrepreneur Fashion designer|
|Type||Arts Business Creativity Fashion|
|Birth||8 July 1885, Metzingen, Germany|
|Death||9 August 1948, Metzingen, Germany (aged 63 years)|
Hugo Ferdinand Boss (8 July 1885 – 9 August 1948) was a German fashion designer and businessman. He was the founder of the clothing company Hugo Boss AG. He was an active member of the Nazi Party as early as 1931 and remained loyal to the Nazi German ideology throughout the duration of the party's existence.
Boss was born in Metzingen, in the Kingdom of Württemberg, to Luise (née Münzenmayer) and Heinrich Boss, the youngest of five children. He performed an apprenticeship as a merchant, completed military service from 1903 to 1905 and worked in a weaving mill in Konstanz. He then took over as the heir to his parents' lingerie shop in Metzingen in 1908. In that year, he also married Anna Katharina Freysinger with whom he had a daughter. In 1914, he was mobilized into the army and he served through World War I with the rank of corporal.
Boss was married to Anna Katharina Freysinger. They had one daughter.
Hugo Boss company
He founded his own clothing company in Metzingen in 1923 and then a factory in 1924, initially with two partners. The company produced shirts and jackets and then work clothing, sportswear and raincoats. In the 1930s, it produced uniforms for the SA, the SS, the Hitler Youth, the postal service, rail employees and later the Wehrmacht.
Support of Nazism
Boss joined the Nazi Party in 1931, two years before Adolf Hitler came to power. By the third quarter of 1932, the all-black SS uniform (to replace the SA brown shirts) was designed by SS-Oberführer Prof. Karl Diebitsch, graphic designer Walter Heck, who had no affiliation with the company. The Hugo Boss company produced these black uniforms along with the brown SA shirts and the black-and-brown uniforms of the Hitler Youth. Some workers were French and Polish prisoners of war forced into labour. In 1999, US lawyers acting on behalf of Holocaust survivors started legal proceedings against the Hugo Boss company over the use of slave labour during the war. The misuse of 140 Polish and 40 French forced workers led to an apology by the company.
After World War II, the denazification process saw Boss initially labeled as an "activist, supporter and beneficiary" of National Socialism, which resulted in a heavy fine, also stripping him of his voting rights and of his capacity to run a business. However, this initial ruling was appealed, and Boss was re-labeled as a "follower", a category with a less severe punishment. Nevertheless, the effects of the ban led to Boss's son-in-law, Eugen Holy, taking over both the ownership and the running of the company.
Boss died of a tooth abscess in 1948.