The German clothing factory that eventually became the international menswear powerhouse Hugo Boss manufactured Nazi uniforms during World War II and most likely did so using slave labor.
The revelation appeared in the latest issue of the Austrian current affairs magazine Profil. A statement from Hugo Boss AG, which is based in Metzingen, Germany, details and confirms much of the account.
"The clothing factory founded by Mr. Hugo Boss manufactured work clothes and we think SS uniforms as well . . . we're currently trying to find what was going on," said Monika Steilen, spokeswoman for Hugo Boss AG, by phone from headquarters in Germany.
Boss, who died in 1948, founded his family-owned garment business in 1923. The company struggled for a time, fell into bankruptcy, and then, during the war, made the uniforms worn by the German SS, storm troopers, Wehrmacht and Hitler Youth. It's likely that the factory was manned by forced labor, including concentration camp prisoners and prisoners of war.