Hugo BOSS commissioned my office to create the visual branding for a sailing boat to compete in the Vendée Globe: a round-the-world single-handed yacht race, sailed non-stop and without assistance. Alex Thomson, skipper of the Hugo BOSS sponsored boat, aspires to becoming the first British sailor to win what is referred to as the Mount Everest of sailing. In preparation for the 2016/17 edition of the Vendée, he and his team (and Hugo BOSS) had just over two years to build a totally new boat. The naval architecture of the HUGO BOSS was developed by VPLP and Guillaume Verdier. Its a first of its kind, 60 foot carbon fibre mono hull with foils - giant appendages protruding from either side of the hull to lift the boat out of the water in strong winds.
Our job? We painted the boat black, the whole thing: the hull, the mast, the sails. HUGO BOSS is a race machine, it is about speed and competition. We wanted to give it an expression of ultimate performance, make it look determined, even menacing. While the hull is painted in matt black, the deck is covered in tessellating, silver hexagons, a reference to the honeycomb structure (Nomex) of the boat. Onto the sliding canopy, which covers the small area where Alex Thomson is standing to steer the boat, we lacquered a grey monochrome Union Jack in reference to the historical explorers who displayed flags on their boats.
The visual impact of the black HUGO BOSS is stunning, specially when seen off-shore and at high speed. That was the task we had: designing the boat to look great in action, most likely seen through the lens of a helicopter camera.

HUGO BOSS Southern Ocean

Clip_1: Building the new HUGO BOSS
Clip_2: HUGO BOSS in action

Follow the race live:

Project assistant: Charlotte Talbot (KGID)
Client: Hugo BOSS and Alex Thomson Racing