Apart from Zegna and Canali, Hugo Boss garments must be the most sought after. Sadly, there are many fakes/imitations on eBay. For this guide, I am going to concentrate on suits and jackets made by Hugo Boss. Eventually, I will build this guide into a nearly complete overview of the Boss range. What to look for and how to minimize the risk of ending-up with an old garment and a "Hugo Boss" label.
There are two distinctive lines for suits and jackets: Black (Label) and Red (Label)*. Orange (Label) and Green (Label) are mainly casual clothing or sporty lines and I still have to see a suit in these ranges! White (Label) occurs mainly in Europe and is for Blazers and Casual Jackets pre early nineties. Hugo Boss also has a range of clothing called Baldessarini and these items are made with the most exclusive cloths available. Update: Baldessarini is now a completely independent brand but the commitment to producing exclusive garments with the finest materials is still paramount. Other Boss brands include Hugo (known as Red (Label), the focus being on formal and smart casual wear and Hugo Boss Selection - as its name implies a selection of high quality apparel. Suits and jackets appear in this range but they are few and far between on eBay.
The most important aspect of buying a BOSS suit (apart from your measurements) is what style does it fall into? All BOSS clothing has a style. For Black (Label) suits it could be 'Einstein/Sigma', 'Einstein/Omega', 'Sokrates/Sigma', 'Rossellini/Movie', 'Scorsese/Movie', 'Angelico/Lucca', 'Da Vinci/Lucca' and so on.
Red (Label)* throws-up styles such as 'Adini/Gee', 'Aiko/Heise' and 'Aamon/Hago'. What both have in common is that these Model/Style tags are incorporated as a label into the jacket and trousers - for the jacket you will find it in a top inside pocket. These labels are very distinctive. If you are buying a suit or a jacket from eBay, ask the seller to provide you with (if not shown in the listing) a photograph of this label. If they can't or do not reply to your request, steer well clear because it will most certainly be a fake. Look at the reputable sellers on eBay, every one of them gives you a close-up of that label.
These labels as said before, are somewhat unique, they fade when the item is dry-cleaned. This is a good indicator of how much use a suit has had and how old it is. It would be very difficult to fake this label as the printing technique is specialized. An industrial inkjet is used to mark Model/Style, Size, Article Number, Material and some other specifications. This is done to a label that already has a watermark with Hugo Boss and Boss all the way through it. The label is made of cloth. I am not saying there are no fake labels; there are many fake labels but not of this design.
Anyone can take, say an old "Black Boss Label" and sew it into a suit. That, of course, is not a Genuine BOSS item. For BOSS Black (Label) you will never find the label at the collar of the suit jacket. For Black (Label) casual clothing, it does appear. However, the label for casual clothing is a square, while for suits and jackets it is rectangle (oblong). BOSS Black (Label) has one black label with 'BOSS' embossed in white lettering (on a black background) and the words (small letters) 'HUGO BOSS' also in white. This label can be found underneath the right-hand inside pocket. On the opposite side there should be another label, under the left-hand pocket with the word 'Stretch', again in white lettering with a black background. This label may also state 'Wool/Cashmere' or 'Super 100/110/120/130/140' depending on the material of the suit or jacket. The Article Label is sewn to the lip of the top left-hand inside pocket. You may also find a tailor's name within the jacket. This is not unusual as the jackets/suits are shipped unfinished to the tailor for alteration.
Remember, the trousers will also carry this label - and they have to match in description. BOSS trousers, especially suit trousers have a band with Hugo Boss printed all around the inside of the waist. Sometimes the lettering is very small (white on black or vice versa) and other times the lettering is the same size as the Boss Label within the jacket.
Unless the suit is specifically for summer or is made of linen, you will not be able to see through it. If you can it is imitation and not the 'real deal'.
RED (Label)* is again different. However, it does have the unique Article Label as described above. If you see a printed label with black writing on a white background and the label is made of paper or card, then this is faked. Some RED (Label)* jackets have a red label at the collar, mostly the casual 'Mod' style. Other RED (Label)* items have a red piped lining that transverses the jacket. This lining is made of cloth and not plastic and is a subtle shade. It is not 'Pillar Box Red'.
If a seller has a RED (Label)* suit or jacket for sale and the insides are hidden from view; ask for a photograph, so that you can see any red highlights or red detail. The inside pockets will in nearly every ocassion have red-highlighting. RED (Label)* always has some form of red detailing to distinguish it as RED (Label)*. If your seller gives you no response or an excuse don't bother with it. It will be a fake!
Don't be swayed by the garment having all the tags. The Article label is your most important authenticity test. Look around eBay for some examples. Study them and you will know the label's design. Modern inkjet and colour laser printers can easily make shop labels and tags. No home printers can make two-tone Article labels though. Firstly, you would have to lay-down a water-mark using a different ink. Then you would have to print on top of that with another ink, hoping that both inks took without a reaction. The label, as stated earlier is made of cloth, it is not paper. So if you find yourself with a paper Article label, then there is something wrong. RED cloth labels can be faked but without the Article label then they are still fakes!
The watermark of the Article Label is a faint grey ink with the words Boss in vertical columns running down the label. The article description for Style/Model and so on is in a purple/blue ink. The words Hugo Boss can also be found in the watermark, in a faint grey ink and usually in the centre of the label and in columns.
Check the seller's other items to see how many suits and jackets are Hugo Boss, then check each picture to see if there is a variation in style. No variation, ask the seller why this is? Genuine traders will be happy to discuss anything with you. They want your custom.
New Boss Collections and Boss Man, have no connection with Hugo Boss brands. These are just bad copies, in a style that mimics Hugo Boss. Cloth name labels that some manufacturers put on the sleeves of suits and blazers to identify their wares do not appear on Hugo Boss clothing, ever. Not even in an official Hugo Boss outlet.
All Hugo Boss suit jackets in the styles below Black (Label) have top inside pockets that creep onto the actual material of the jacket by about one to two centimetres. The main part of the top inside pockets will be incorporated in the lining but a very small part of the opening will be on the material. This is a design feature of Hugo Boss Black (Label) jackets.
With regard to suits and jackets: Cloth is usually sourced from a specific country and this will be mentioned if the jacket or the suit was expensive. The unfinished suit that is sent to a tailor will be made in another country or the same the country that the cloth was sourced from. The tailor's name will also be inside the suit if it is of high value.
Obviously, I can't list every example, however I can guide you in what to look for with detailing.
What to look for: Design details of some Hugo Boss suit jackets - Black (Label).
'Einstein/Omega': 3 Button front (single-breasted), 2 front slash pockets (i.e. no flaps), 1 breast pocket, left-hand side and a button hole on left lapel. 4 Buttons to each sleeve, 4 inside pockets and a single vent to the back. Will be made from pure new wool (100%) or 'Super 100/110/120/130/140s'. Cloth can have many sources but you will mostly find Italy, Germany and England.
'Einstein/Sigma': 3 Button front (single-breasted), 2 slash front pockets, 1 breast pocket, left-hand side and a button hole on left lapel. 4 Buttons to each sleeve, 4 inside pockets, no vent at the back. Will be made from pure new wool or a composition, (90% or 95% wool) with (10% or 5%) Polyamide Nylon (Natural Stretch). It can also be (100% wool) or a variety of the 'Super 100/110/120/130/140s' Wool. Sourced from Italy or Germany. Lining of suit jacket will be main colour of suit or black. This style is also available as a summer suit. Cloth in this case will be (100%) Linen.
'Rossellini/Movie': 3 Button front (single-breasted), 2 front pockets with flaps, 1 breast pocket, left-hand side and button hole on left lapel. 4 Buttons to each sleeve, 4 inside pockets and a single vent to the back. Sleeves are lined in white viscose with a faint black line. The line can also be in blue and dots can be used instead of lines. Will be made from pure new wool (100%) or 'Super 100/120/130/140s' wool. Cloth will be sourced from England or Italy.
'Scorsese/Movie': 3 Button front (single-breasted), 2 front pockets with flaps, 1 breast pocket, left-hand side and a button hole to left lapel. 4 Buttons to each sleeve, 4 inside pockets and a single vent to the back. Will be made from pure new wool (100%) or 'Super 100/120/140s' and will have been made in Eastern Europe, most likely Poland or Bulgaria.
'Bertolucci/Movie': 2 Button front (single-breasted), 2 front pockets with flaps, 1 breast pocket, left-hand side, 4 Buttons to each sleeve. 3 inside pockets and single vent at the back. Sleeves are lined in viscose with a faint black line. Will be made from pure new wool (100%) or 'Super 100/110/120/130/140s' and will have been made in Italy/Turkey/Poland.
'Sokrates/Omega': 4 Button front (single-breasted), 2 slash front pockets, 1 breast pocket, left-hand side and button hole on left lapel. 4 Buttons to each sleeve, 4 inside pockets and no vent at the back. Sleeves are lined in white viscose with a faint black line. Made in Germany.
'Sokrates/Sigma': 4 Button front (single-breasted), 2 front pockets with flaps, 1 breast pocket left-hand side and button hole to left lapel. 4 Buttons to each sleeve, 4 inside pockets and no vent at the back. Sleeves are lined in white viscose with a faint black line. Lining of jacket is normally light if suit is dark and vice versa. Made in Germany.
'Da Vinci/Lucca': 3 Button front (single-breasted), 2 front pockets with flaps, 1 breast pocket left-hand side and button hole to left lapel. 4 Buttons to each sleeve, 4 inside pockets and two vents at the back. Will be made from pure new wool (100%) or 'Super 100/110/120s' Cloth will have been sourced from Italy.
If you are looking for information on Hugo Boss Black (Label) excluding suits and jackets then see other guide. Whether you are buying Hugo Boss or another brand it is important to note how items are described. "This is a Genuine article" and this is a "Genuine Hugo Boss item" are not the same. Similarly, "100% Genuine" and "100% Genuine Hugo Boss" have different meanings. Sometimes, the trader will innocently state the former but on other ocassions it is meant to deliberately mislead. Anything can be 100% genuine, your car,' the wife', etc. Unless the product is named and then confirmed as Genuine/Authentic/100%, then it is best to make certain.
Sometimes you will see in adverts 'check Hugo Boss website for more details' or a link is provided to the Hugo Boss website. This would only be relevant if the item was from a collection of Hugo Boss clothing that had appeared in the current year or the last season. Second-User items will not be listed here, especially not items older than eighteen months. This is just a 'Red Herring' to convince eBay buyers that it is a genuine product. Always ask for a close-up photograph of the 'article label'.
One last point on the 'article label'; Only a determined con artist would cut out the 'article label' of an old suit and sew it into a newer one. However, this can't be discounted. Though it is very unlikely because you would need to fake the suit style and make sure that everything matched-up with regard to labels, linings, materials and condition. The stitching of this label to the top inside pocket is very professional and is done by a machine. NB. Trousers must carry the same 'Article' label and the 'Style/Model' description must be identical as must the Article Number. The jacket and trouser Article labels must match exactly.
When I get some time, I will complete the guides to Genuine Hugo Boss items by adding 'Orange' (Label), Green (Label) and 'Red (Label).
I don't sell on eBay and therefore I have no hidden agenda or ulterior motive. I like everyone else want eBay users to get genuine goods at bargain prices if possible. What I don't want to see is inferior goods being passed-off as genuine Boss items. Nor do I want to see traders making big profits on suits bought from charity shops or imported from the Far East and then faked with Hugo Boss labels from an old garment picked-up in the flea market.
*RED (Label) is a misnomer in so much as there is no actual 'Red Label' category. This 'Red Label' identifies the HUGO brand within the BOSS range. The HUGO label is red and therefore it has colloquially come to be known as 'Red Label'. Much in the same way as BOSS Black has come to be known as Black (label).
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30 August 2008
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