Retail Review: Hugo Boss

LEAF ARBUTHNOT checks out the latest retail offering to Cambridge Clone Town…

Cambridge Hugo Boss jeans jumpers medals Sienna Miller watches

Hugo Boss, it turns out, was a Nazi. A fully-fledged, I’m-going-to-use-forced-labour-workers-and-what, Nazi. For real.

I did not know this as I meandered into the new branch in Market Square yesterday. Nor, I suppose, did Sienna Miller as she folded back her arm on that sofa to model for the company’s perfume, looking foxy and dewy and ravishing. Or maybe she did. It’s all horribly complicated.

The shop itself is entirely predictable. I had vaguely expected a Thermos palette of stainless steel paired with domineering blocks of black and muted browns – all were present and accountable. Racks were neat and uncluttered; service polite and restrained; tags folded into linings to create a streamlined effect. There was a shiny steel fire extinguisher as well as, mystifyingly, a few silver cups displayed presumably to congratulate you on having good enough taste to walk in.

You da Boss


Prices were also wholly foreseeable – jumpers for about a hundred quid, jeans for around eighty, watches for two hundred. The clothes are well designed, pared-down, classically-cut, trumpeting a chilled homogeneity that’s all the rage, so I hear, with City-types during weekend downtime.

Watches from £200

Jumpers from £200

The shop is not a travesty, not by any stretch. In fact, its slickness and CSI-lab vibe are quite soothing. A very, very shady past notwithstanding (and I slightly feel it should ‘withstand’), Hugo Boss will give anyone who wants to look just as sharp as William’s knife exactly what they want. They just probably shouldn’t want it.

Hugo Boss’s apparition in Cambridge is sadly not as bamboozling as you might hope. A year ago, our bonnie metropolis was awarded the zealously sought-after Clone Town title, with the accompanying report sighing, “Diversity is a stranger in Cambridge’s clone zone”. Indeed.