Close interaction between creative department and technical development
Because the research and development process stands at the start of the value chain, it plays a decisive role in the collection's later success.
In the first step of the product development process, creative management defines the collection statement, plans the color, theme, shape and fabric concepts and sets the targeted price points. Insights from sell-through diagnostics of the reference season are factored into this process. In order to compile at an early stage information on current trends in colors and materials as well as new kinds of processing techniques, the design departments attend specialist trade shows several times a year. In their search for new ideas, the creative teams seek inspiration from a range of fields, including architecture, design and art, but also from new technologies and socioeconomic developments. For instance, the 2013 Womenswear Fall Collection was inspired by the work of U.S. photographer Man Ray. Clear lines, playful prints and art deco details were used to fuse artistic luxury with the shapes of surrealism. In this first step in the product development process, the design teams draw to a limited extent on the expertise of external advisors such as trend scouts in order to identify fashion trends even earlier.
In a second step, the creative department hands over its sketches to the pattern design department where the feasibility of the creative ideas is initially reviewed from a tailoring perspective. The technical product development department then develops the models into prototypes. In close cooperation with suppliers, the materials used and innovative product techniques are developed further. The prototypes are then thoroughly tested, resulting, among other things, in the compilation of data on the physical attributes of the fabrics needed later at the series production stage.
The prototype creation stage is followed by sampling, the production of a sample collection for presentation and sale to international wholesale customers. This is followed by the production of the pieces ordered and their sale to end customers, either through the Group's own retail stores or the wholesale channel.
Throughout all stages, seamless collaboration of all those involved, including external suppliers and technology partners, is essential to ensure a high product quality and maximize the efficiency of the research and development process.
Product development process at HUGO BOSS