Hugo Boss expects its business will continue to suffer in the first quarter but forecast a gradual recovery from April as people buy new clothes when they emerge from lockdowns.
Although the German fashion house said on Thursday it would continue to push more casual styles, helped by a new partnership with actor Chris Hemsworth, it noted pent-up demand for smart clothes seen in China after lockdowns were lifted there.
Hugo Boss had already made the shift toward casual clothing even before customers switched suits and ties for tracksuits when lockdowns forced them to work from home.
Formalwear only accounted for 25% of sales in 2020, down from 35% in 2019, acting Chief Executive Yves Mueller said.
“There is a desire in the population in many countries to go out again, to shop again,” he told reporters, adding that Hugo Boss was responding to the trend for more comfortable clothes by using more stretchy materials, even in its suits.