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Turning twenty this year, Hugo began 2013 in a celebratory yet considered mood with a presentation and after-party in the heart of Berlin. Previously a location where painters, metalworkers, carpenters and sculptors combined to create vast sets for the capital’s opera houses, Berlin’s former Opernwerkstaetten provided one more impressive backdrop for the parade of Hugo’s ‘Reflection.’ Before the vast industrial space was swarmed with eight hundred well wishers and revellers dancing late into the night, a quiet hush descended and hung as the Hugo design duo Eyan Allen and Bart De Backer held up a mirror and the star studded, international audience saw an inviting image of Hugo’s past, present and future.
On reaching such a landmark as the big 2-0, De Backer and Allen would have been forgiven had they purely presented a greatest hits of Hugo menswear and womenswear. However, rather than release another nostalgic ‘Best of’ album, the talented twosome treated us to a foot tappingly good sartorial remix that focused in on unique surfaces, innovative details and fresh silhouettes. “I didn’t only look at the history of Hugo, I was particularly interested in the history of menswear in general and seeing what makes a piece iconic,” Bart de Backer excitedly exclaimed backstage. “For example, the biker style of Marlon Brando from the 50s is widely known and admired, here we updated his iconic jacket with the combination of wool with leather applications and silver zip detailing to offer a new, contemporary feel.” Both the menswear and womenswear collections revelled in duality, dancing between and blurring the lines of past and future, nostalgia and novelty, tradition and innovation. “Sophisticated rebel,” is how, in the midst of the backstage controlled chaos of celebrity interviews and transforming models, De Backer succinctly described Hugo at twenty. Here’s to an exciting future with Hugo, the sophisticated rebel.
Text: Steve Salter
Images: Courtesy of Hugo Boss