Hom heads for the USA
Since its purchase by the Huber group a year ago, Hom has been striving to exploit the new opportunities provided by the neworganisation. The men's underwear label thus managed to keep its headquarters in Marseilles, France, while discovering synergies with its new Austrian owner, a specialist in underwear (notably the Hanro and Skinny brands).
Becoming part of Huber notably gives Hom the chance to take advantage of the commercial network of Hanro, the group's mixed-gender label with a near-luxury positioning. Hanro is very powerful in the USA and will allow Hom to take its first steps there, banking on the former's market expertise. The Marseilles brand is expecting to enter US stores this year. Up to now, Hom's €30 million revenue was chiefly generated in Europe, especially in France, and in Asia, notably China, where the brand opened its own stores.
Besides benefiting from convergent brand distribution interests, entering the Huber group also allowed Hom to revise its manufacturing process entirely: Huber in fact also owns Arula, a manufacturer which supplies exclusive materials to the group's brands, and has its own production facilities in Europe.
"These materials, and a European manufacturing base within the group itself, are a veritable boon for us, given our upmarket, innovative approach," said Régine Weimar, Hom's General Manager, who retained her post after the acquisition, denoting an approach aiming for continuity. Materials are therefore more than ever at the heart of Hom's collections, lightweight and with a highly comfortable feel. But they are not everything, and the brand wishes to carry on innovating in terms of shapes and finishings.
The priority is indeed expanding the customer base, and in 2016 work to this purpose will be done on brand awareness. A greater communications effort then, chiefly with a fashion feel (such as opening a pop-up store in Paris' Marais district during the latest men's fashion week), as well as a reflection on how Hom should register in men's minds. For the latter, the brand is relying on the HO1, its best-selling model, known as the first pair of boxer shorts with horizontal opening, and for its super snug cut.
More than ever, Hom wishes to capitalise on this model, which already enjoys several variants, both in terms of length (from briefs to long johns) and colour. The brand even gave the model its own visual identity, with a distinctive logo inspired by its shape, which will be featured repeatedly, signature-like, on the packaging and other branding elements.
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