HUGO BOSS, is a luxury fashion brand, from Metzingen, Germany, that has become a global name for aspirational style. When most people think of fashion, womenswear immediately comes to mind. However in the menswear field, there are many women who are the Hidden Figures behind many known brands. I sat down with Traci Hasley, a trailblazer for past, present, and future HUGO BOSS collections.
MST: What is your title at HUGO BOSS? What does your day to day look like?
TH: I am the Senior Buyer of Men’s Sportswear. Daily, I am managing and supporting my team. In addition, I work with my global counterparts on aligning the next assortment, provide product knowledge training, and shop the competition to ensure that we remain abreast of relevant and latest fashion trends.
MST: What opportunities have you had working at HUGO BOSS?
TH: People, Travel, and Ideas are 3 key things I have experienced. People challenge you, Travel opens up your eyes, and gives you a new perspective. That perspective generates Ideas and possibilities.
MST: What trends do you see men looking to try?
TH: We are definitely in a time of what I call “casual plus”. Clothing that can transition for many occasions has become the most valid motivation to shop, as opposed to buying for one specific event. Guys look for items that have multiple uses with a fashion flair, that isn’t too limiting.
MST: Do you wish more men would take risks with fashion?
TH: I do wish men would take more risks, even if it’s something as subtle as a new fit or color. There is a comfort level for most men, and finding that balance of product and fit is key. If you feel good in it, you will look good in it.
MST: What are three must have items for guys this season?
TH: An awesome leather jacket, denim that can be dressed up or down, as well as a “go to” soft tee that can layer or pair with anything.
MST: Where did you go to college? What did you study?
TH: I received my BAS in International Economics from American University in Washington DC.
MST: What inspired you to get into the fashion business?
TH: Believe it or not, it was my dad. I aspired to be an attorney, but after working at a law firm for a year while applying to law school, I realized it wasn’t for me. My dad told me to do what I love. In order to succeed in life, you have to have a passion for it. I ended up applying to Parsons in NYC, and began to pursue an advanced degree in Fashion Merchandising. The rest is history.
MST: Why did you choose menswear, over womenswear?
TH: While at Parsons, I had the opportunity to work several internships in both areas. Although womenswear was interesting, something clicked while I was at Armani with a Men’s Sportswear internship. In the end, menswear chose me, and I never looked back.
MST: Did you have a mentor growing up? Would you recommend others have a mentor?
TH: It may sound corny, but my mentor is my dad. He has a brilliant business mind. It’s been incredible to talk shop and bounce ideas off of him, especially when I am at a crossroads or may be considering something new. He also won’t tell me what I want to hear, but what I need to hear, which is key. I suggest that everyone finds that person you can trust with your physical and mental well-being. It allows you to truly stop and listen to your inner voice and take heed.
MST: If you saw your younger self walking down the street, what advice would you give that girl?
TH: If you believe in something, go after it. What is the worst thing that can happen? Someone says “No”? It just means, “No, not right now”.