Hugo Boss: Nazi Fashion Designer

Hugo Boss

Hugo Boss

You’ve probably heard about the dubious history of fashion designer Hugo Boss and his Nazi past, but I thought you might like to hear about it in more detail and see some of his designs!*

Hugo Boss started his clothing company in 1924. It wasn’t particuarly successful and he even went bankrupt, that was until he joined the National Socialst (Nazi) party in the early 1930s and became a ‘sponsoring member’ of the S.S.

He became the official supplier of Nazi uniforms to lots of party organizations including Sturmabteilung (Brownshirts), Schutzstaffel (S.S), Hitler YouthNational Socialist Motor Corps (a paramilitary wing of the Nazi party). During the war he also used prisoners or war and forced labour in his factories to help keep up with demand. His advertising proudly stated “supplier for National Socialist uniforms since 1924”, although it’s very doubtful he actually supplied them with uniforms until the late 1920s.

*Apologies for the rather heavy Nazi-themed posts of the past week or so, normal light-hearted service will be resumed as soon as possible!

Brownshirt Nazi uniform

Sturmabteilung (Brownshirts) uniform

S.S. and Gestapo uniform

Nazi uniforms for the Gestapo (left) and S.S.

S.S. uniform

Prominent Nazi Dr Hans Heinrich Lammers in his S.S uniform, complete with skull motif

Hitler Youth uniforms

A mother looks proudly at her son wearing his Hitler Youth uniform

Hitler Youth uniforms

More uniformed Hitler Youth members in uniform

Hitler Youth uniforms

Hitler Youth in their dress uniform on a visit to Japan

Hugo Boss advert for Nazi uniforms from 1933

Hugo Boss advert for Nazi uniforms from 1933


Image source and copyright: 1, This photographic image was published before December 31st 1956, or photographed before 1946, under jurisdiction of the Government of Japan. Thus this photographic image is considered to be public domain 2, 3, 4, 5, This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license. 6,This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired and its author is anonymous. 7, This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication, 8, The author of this work is anonymous and this work is more than 50 years old. According to the Berne convention Art. 7, and the laws of many countries, this work is in the public domain. 9, This file is in the public domain, 10, This file is ineligible for copyright and therefore in the public domain. Source


4 thoughts on “Hugo Boss: Nazi Fashion Designer

  1. Emma Sommerfeld

    There is one fascinating book in English about this era: ‘Nazi Chic – Fashioning Women in the Third Reich’ – and despite the silly title it is a well researched academic work

    • Mary, WHV

      What a strange title! I suspect they made a list of all the keywords they needed to include and then made a title out of it 😉 Looks an interesting book though, as does ‘Fashion Under Fascism’ – don’t suppose you’ve read that one too..? :)


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