[dropcap size=small]G[/dropcap]erman fashion house Hugo Boss is to abandon its stint in the luxury market and go back to is roots of selling premium men’s clothing, said CEO Mark Langer in in interview with German business paper Handelsblatt.

“The effort to make in-roads in the luxury market didn’t prove to be particularly helpful for our business,” Mark Langer was quoted as saying on Tuesday (Oct 25) in his first interview since taking over at Hugo Boss. The brand’s former CFO, who stepped up in May 2016, announced plans to close unprofitable stores and intends to cut annual costs by 50m euros (S$75.8m).

Former boss Claus-Dietrich Lahrs had taken the German label more upmarket as the luxury market boomed, opening more than 400 stores worldwide and putting a bigger focus on womenswear.

Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, the former CEO of Hugo Boss that pushed for large-scale operations in Asia.
Claus-Dietrich Lahrs: The CEO of Hugo Boss aims

But the luxury sector is now going through its most severe slowdown in seven years, prompting Lahrs to quit in February as Hugo Boss sales slumped in the United States and China.

A version of this story first appeared in The Straits Times Online on Oct 26, 2016. Header image: The German national football team decked out in Hugo Boss wear, 2014.