Ingo Wilts shares the story behind his first joint womens and menswear collection, which was inspired in part by the Eames House in LA
Boss isn’t immediately synonymous with Los Angeles. You’re more likely to associate it with the city of Metzingen, where it was founded, or Germany more broadly and the country’s minimalist, modernist approach to design. This season though, Chief Brand Officer Ingo Wilts drew inspiration from the City of Angels, in what was his first joint womens and menswear collection, following Jason Wu’s departure from the brand in February.
However his reference to LA wasn’t literal – this wasn’t an homage to Hollywood or Sunset Boulevard. Instead, Wilts looked to the Eames House, a landmark of mid-20th century modern architecture, which was constructed in 1949 by husband-and-wife design duo Charles and Ray Eames.
“The house is cool,” he explains, speaking over the phone after the show, which was styled by Another Man’s fashion director, Ellie Grace Cumming. “It’s up on a hill so you can see the ocean and the beach. It’s airy and breezy. We wanted [to incorporate] the graphics and everything – which you can see on the women, and also on the men – but also with this airy, breezy, beachy, surf idea.”
You can see what he means: the building’s clean lines and black, white, red, yellow and blue panelling are there in the graphics; and that “airy, breezy, beachy, surf idea” in the silhouette. It’s there too in the stripes which were borrowed from the stripes on surfboards; the trousers that were cut to emulate wetsuits; and the hoodies which were incorporated to reflect what surfers wear on land and off-duty – Wilts said he was particularly inspired by the way in which surfing is such an intergenerational sport, attracting men of all ages.
Of course, there was tailoring too, but it was in this same laissez-faire vein, rendered in lounging, luxurious cuts and calm, muted hues. Some pieces had even been hewn from a crinkled fabric that had been designed to look like it had been dunked in the sea and dried off.
In these tumultuous times, there’s something particularly appealing about surfers’ easy attitude to life, which Wilts has channelled so brilliantly through this collection.