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HUGO Boss Eyewear’s Sailing Project. Eight months on the crest of a wave

From the start of Barcelona World Race to the sailing experience in Copenhagen: an overview of all races and promotional activities that allowed the sporty styles of the BOSS Black Eyewear Collection to ride seas and markets in 2011

December-April. “ALEX 99” sunglasses racing the Barcelona World Race onboard HUGO BOSS
At 13:00 on 31 December 2010, 14 boats left Barcelona on a 25,000-mile sailing race around the world two-handed – non-stop over the course of about three months. Among these was the yacht HUGO BOSS, an IMOCA 60 sailed by the partnership of Andy Meiklejohn from New Zealand and Wouter Verbraak from the Netherlands. Verbraak came in as a last-minute replacement for the British skipper Alex Thomson who underwent an emergency appendectomy 48 hours before the off. Boat and crew were supported by HUGO BOSS and HUGO BOSS Eyewear, the brand that includes ranges of spectacles and sunglasses produced by Safilo on licence from the brand. As part of that collaboration, in 2010 Safilo designed and produced a special model of sunglasses, the “ALEX 99”. The race was full of twists and turns for all those competing and pushed all the teams’ strategies, techniques and skills to the limit. On 22 April 2011, at 00:49 HUGO BOSS sailed into Barcelona, crossing the finish line after 111 days and 10 hours at sea. Five out of the starting 14 boats retired during the race proving what a gruelling endurance test it was.

The “ALEX 99” sunglasses. Dedicated to the Sailing Project
The “ALEX 99” sunglasses feature a wraparound and aerodynamic injection-moulded shape, which gives a sporty look and a bold personality. The style is decorated with a metal insert featuring the HUGO BOSS logo engraved between the front and the temples, whilst internally it is personalized by the “ALEX 99” script, referring to the name of the skipper and to the sail number of the boat. The sunglasses are also available with high-quality polarised lenses that provide excellent vision and reduce all reflections making them perfect for outdoor sports activities.

March-June. “Follow your vision” ad campaign to push the BOSS Black Eyewear Collection 2011
At the beginning of April, as HUGO BOSS was crossing the Equator on her way back to Barcelona, HUGO BOSS Eyewear launched its “Sailing” Project through top European media with the tagline “Follow your vision”. The ad campaign, tied to the fascinating Barcelona World Race, also offers a wide range of POS materials dedicated to the BOSS Black Eyewear Collection 2011. The collection – which still includes the “ALEX 99” sunglasses (BOSS 0338/S and BOSS 0338/N/S) – presents two new lightweight and comfortable shield sunglasses (BOSS 0392/S and BOSS 0393/S). These sporty looking styles are ideal for sports activities but also for everyday wear.

June. Alex Thomson back onboard to race the Giraglia Rolex Cup
On 22 June round-the-world skipper Alex Thomson was back at the helm of his IMOCA 60 race yacht HUGO BOSS, for the start of the 245nm offshore Giraglia Rolex Cup from Saint-Tropez to Genoa via La Giraglia Islet. The race was the first time Alex sailed competitively on the boat since he was unable to take part in the Barcelona World Race following his emergency appendectomy. On board with Alex were round-the-world sailor and IMOCA skipper Guillermo Altadill, top Figaro sailor Gildas Morvan, and Volvo sailor Wouter Verbraak.

July and August. A great sailing experience for the winners of the “Follow your vision” contest
A small number of lucky HUGO BOSS Eyewear top European dealers won the “Follow your vision” contest and had the chance to enjoy an exclusive three-day trip and an unforgettable sailing experience onboard 60ft HUGO BOSS. Safilo Group and HUGO BOSS offered this three-day-stay in two fascinating European venues: Barcelona for Italian, German, French and UK’s guests, and Copenhagen for Spanish and Nordic guests. On both occasions, great fun and excitement was had.

August. HUGO BOSS at Cowes (with a star guest)
On 10 August 60ft HUGO BOSS raced the 5th edition of the Artemis Challenge. The Artemis Challenge, a high adrenaline 50nm race around the Isle of Wight to claim a £10,000 charity prize fund, took place in the middle of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, the world’s largest sailing regatta and one of the UK’s biggest sporting events. Onboard HUGO BOSS, together with skipper Alex Thomson, was Hollywood star Ewan McGregor: “I'm excited to experience the thrill of yacht racing from the very deck of the boat and I'll be doing my best to help Alex win so that we can donate the prize money to UNICEF's East Africa Appeal. There's never been a more important time to support the children of the region who so desperately need our help.”

Some days after, on 14 August, Thomson was at the helm of his race yacht HUGO BOSS, for the start of the 44th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race, the 608nm offshore race from Cowes to Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock. The skipper, supported by HUGO BOSS and HUGO BOSS Eyewear said: “The Fastnet race is one of the most historical and prestigious offshore races in the sailing calendar. In addition, it is particularly important to me, as the 2003 race marked the start of our fantastic partnership with HUGO BOSS. I am excited to be taking part in this challenging race again. It’s a great opportunity to race offshore and to carry on my training in the build-up to the 2012 Vendée Globe.”

BOSS Black Eyewear racing with HUGO BOSS
Alex Thomson and his team have the support of HUGO BOSS and HUGO BOSS Eyewear, the brand that includes the collections of sunglasses and eyeglasses designed, manufactured and distributed by Safilo under license. Within this partnership, Safilo has launched the special model "ALEX 99" (0338/S and 0338/N/S) and in its wake the new sunglasses 0393/S and 0392/S.

The sponsorship portfolio of HUGO BOSS focuses on three major sports; Golf, Formula 1 and Sailing, as well as other sponsorship interests, which already include Tennis (Davis Cup) and Football (Bayern Munich). In sailing, HUGO BOSS gets another platform to demonstrate its fashion competence both on the boat and shore-side. HUGO BOSS provides Alex and the crew with highly functional outfits for all possible weather conditions around the globe, and dresses the crew for every celebration function in the smartest possible way.

Alex Thomson key facts
One of Britain's most talented sailors - having set two world records, Thomson is the youngest skipper ever to win a round the world race. Date of birth: 18th April 1974
 - Place of birth: Bangor, North Wales
- Lives: Titchfield, Hampshire
- Title Sponsor: HUGO BOSS
- Sailing: 16 years experience - Next Event: 2011 Transat Jacques Vabre -
Inspiration: Sir Keith Mills. Alex met Sir Keith during the 1999 Clipper Round the World Race and together they founded Alex Thomson Racing in 2003.

Press Office: Safilo, tel. +39.049.6985111, email | ISM Italia, tel. +39.02.733403, email

Last update: 21/09/2011, 18:17

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