In response to the global health emergency, various fashion houses have adapted their production facilities to produce protective gear for health-care workers on the front line of the battle against COVID-19. Chief among them is HUGO BOSS, which, on top of contributing face masks, face shields and protective clothing to the relief effort, has reached out to local businesses, NGOs and communities across the world.
Starting from August to December 2020, BOSS will be partnering with various Malaysian F&B businesses in a series of monthly gastronomical collaborations in support of The Lost Food Project and local community. Each partnership will feature a BOSS Exclusive menu that will be available for order through the F&B partner’s platform for a limited period of time. 10% of the proceeds from this menu will be donated to The Lost Food Project, co-funded between BOSS and the F&B partner.
MY UNITY SET MENU @ DE.WAN 1958 BY CHEF WAN
In the first partnership, BOSS teams up with De.Wan 1958 by Chef Wan to launch a truly Malaysian menu in celebration of Malaysia’s National Day. Curated specially by multiple award-winning chef, Datuk Dr. Chef Wan, the MY Unity Set Menu consists of a five-course authentic classic Malaysian meal ranging from the iconic Malay dish Rendang Daging Rusa, to one of the local’s favourite Chinese dishes, Live Fish Seabass with Superior Sauce and the signature Indian dish, Udang Kari Masala, to highlight a few.
“I am super excited to be part of this amazing #BOSSTOGETHERMY collaboration! I think it’s great that brands from different industries are coming together to support each other and furthermore, to support a greater cause, the community, especially during this time. This initiative in conjunction with Merdeka is a perfect reminder for all us to celebrate the little things we used to take for granted.” says Datuk Dr. Chef Wan, owner of De.Wan 1958 by Chef Wan.
SPECIAL TIFFIN CARRIER DESIGN BY ARTIST TIFFANY CHOONG
With every purchase of this menu, customers will receive a limited edition MY Unity tiffin specially illustrated by the very talented local artist Tiffany Choong. The illustrations celebrate the diverse and colourful Malaysian wildlife, flora & fauna. The Malayan tiger has been illustrated specifically by the artist with the hopes of creating awareness for the protection and future survival of this critically endangered species.
This exclusive menu, available for dine-in and delivery caters for 3-4 pax is priced at RM398++. Alternatively, customers can choose to purchase a three-course meal for one person at RM129++ which would only be available for takeaways or delivery. Both options include the limited edition tiffin.
As a celebration of this initiative, customers will also receive a RM100 BOSS Voucher with every order of the BOSS x De.Wan Exclusive menu.
In the following interview, we speak to Steven Lam, managing director of HUGO BOSS, and find out more about the company’s initiatives.
It’s heart-warming and uplifting that a major fashion house of international stature like HUGO BOSS has reached out to our local F&B businesses in support of the needy communities in Malaysia. What inspired this initiative and how is this in line with the brand’s corporate social policy?
Thank you for your support of confidence. Especially in times of crisis, it is important to show solidarity and support all those who urgently need help. As a brand, we take our commitment to social responsibility very seriously. This year, we felt that it was very important that we give back. There are many reasons why we did this. I was talking to some of my friends and acquaintances in F&B and they shared how business has been badly affected. The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown have taken a toll on the F&B industry all over the world, not least Malaysia. In addition to that, it also came to my knowledge that during this difficult time, many businesses in general was not able to sustain themselves and ended up closing down, resulting in many losing their jobs. Many were struggling to buy food for their families especially those families who were facing severe poverty. This in effect has contributed to the substantial increase in demand for food. We wanted to find a way to give back to the community and to the less fortunate during this period. This was how the #BOSSTOGETHERMY supporting local F&B businesses campaign came about.
What are the other social initiatives that HUGO BOSS has launched around the region?
As a global corporation, HUGO BOSS is committed to social responsibility globally through various ways. In the US and Europe, in order to counteract the lack of masks and clothing for use in healthcare settings, we manufactured temporary masks and clothing for healthcare staff. The majority of these were also donated to regional charitable institutions. In Australia, earlier in the year, we supported efforts to combat the bush fires and their effects by donating at least AUD$100,000. We specially designed the “HUGO for Australia” T-shirt, of which 100% of the proceeds went towards the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund. For SEA, we felt that tourism and F&B have been hurt the most. As such, we have decided to start #BOSSTOGETHER campaign. This community initiative is a regional campaign which we first started in Singapore and now rolling out in Malaysia followed by the other South East Asian countries, like Thailand and Indonesia.
We are also pleased that HUGO BOSS has started to give support and recognition to sports champs from Southeast Asia by appointing first Joseph Schooling and now Gavin Green as brand ambassadors. How do you think they fit the BOSS profile and reflect the modern consumers in Malaysia and Singapore?
The chronicle of sports sponsorship at HUGO BOSS is a story with tradition dated back to 1975. What all sponsorship activities have had in common until today is their close ties to the BOSS brand and what it stands for: success, precision, innovation and sustainability. These values are the compass for our commitment, which has accompanied us since the beginning. In sports, passion and performance combined with talent and technique for long-term success – all these aspects are crucial to the strength of HUGO BOSS.
With Joseph Schooling, Singapore’s pride and first ever Olympic gold medalist, his tenacity and passion encapsulates all the aspirational qualities synonymous with HUGO BOSS. Similarly, Gavin Green is the first Malaysian to take the Asian Tour Order of Merit title and is poised to become one of Asia’s most exciting golf talents for many years to come. I think it’s very important for us to support and recognise local talents who truly fit what we stand for. Both youthful with a relentless drive for success, Joseph and Gavin are the perfect embodiment of HUGO BOSS. Their path to victory is a continual, ever-evolving journey, approached with dedication and confidence.
The 2020 pandemic has disrupted businesses worldwide and brought about sweeping changes. How has the company changed to adapt to the crisis and what’s the new normal for HUGO BOSS?
When the crisis first hit, we needed to react to immediate challenges and threats and also not to lose sight of doing the right thing, staying true to our vision. Protecting our employees, customers, business partners and our stakeholders is our top priority. We had to make quick decisions frequently and transparently on the basis of new information in order to adapt quickly, reassess not only our plans for the year but also on a longer-term basis. We had to be resilient. At the earlier stages, a crisis team was set up to closely monitor the development of the pandemic and comprehensively coordinate all of the Group’s actions to protect our employees. Almost all corporate employees have been enabled to work from home. Where this is not possible due to operational conditions, appropriate precautions have been taken. This applies in particular to employees in production, logistics and retail.
While the vast majority of our stores was affected by temporary closures, we knew we had to move quickly and pivot towards taking our businesses online where it’s accessible to our customers as well. We kick-started this project called the HUGO BOSS eConcierge, a personalised and curated e-shopping site that allows our customers to shop from the comforts of their home with complimentary delivery on all orders. A task force team was set up to answer to any of our customers enquiries and needs via WhatsApp. In terms of customer relations, we were constantly communicating with our customers and keeping in touch with them to remind them that we are always here for any of their clothing needs. Customer safety was definitely our key priority as well. We had to install many social distancing measures in store and kept our stores sanitized frequently to ensure the store is safe for our customers to visit and shop.
Whatever the changes needed, change will become the new normal.
UPCOMING #BOSSTOGETHERMY COLLABORATIONS
#BOSSTOGETHERMY will see BOSS partnering with other F&B partners including Siti Li for October, Madam Kwans for November and Kenny Hills Bakers for December. Stay tuned for more updates.