Hugo Boss responds to comedian Joe Lycett changing his name by deed poll

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Joe Lycett is now officially named Hugo Boss (Getty)

Fashion brand Hugo Boss has responded to comedian Joe Lycett changing his name in an act of protest against the company.

The stand-up comic and presenter of The Great British Sewing Bee shared the official deed poll changing his name to match that of the German fashion brand on Twitter.

Lycett, 31, explained: “@HUGOBOSS (who turnover approx $2.7 billion a year) have sent cease & desist letters to a number of small businesses & charities who use the word 'BOSS' or similar, including a small brewery in Swansea costing them thousands in legal fees and rebranding.

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“It's clear that @HUGOBOSS HATES people using their name. Unfortunately for them this week I legally changed my name by deed poll and I am now officially known as Hugo Boss. All future statements from me are not from Joe Lycett but from Hugo Boss.”

Among those small businesses to have been legally challenged by the fashion company in recent years were Swansea brewery company Boss Brewing and charity Dark Girl Boss.

A spokesman for Hugo Boss said in a statement: "We welcome the comedian formerly known as Joe Lycett as a member of the Hugo Boss family.

"As he will know, as a 'well-known' trademark (as opposed to a 'regular' trademark) Hugo Boss enjoys increased protection not only against trademarks for similar goods, but also for dissimilar goods across all product categories for our brands and trademarks Boss and Boss Black and their associated visual appearance.

Joe Lycett says he's changed his name by deed poll (Awakening/Getty Images)

"Following the application by Boss Brewing to register a trademark similar to our 'well-known' trademark, we approached them to prevent potential misunderstanding regarding the brands Boss and Boss Black, which were being used to market beer and items of clothing.

"Both parties worked constructively to find a solution, which allows Boss Brewing the continued use of its name and all of its products, other than two beers (Boss Black and Boss Boss) where a slight change of the name was agreed upon.

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"As an open-minded company we would like to clarify that we do not oppose the free use of language in any way and we accept the generic term 'boss' and its various and frequent uses in different languages."

Hugo Boss was a German fashion designer who founded his own fashion house in 1924. He became a member of the Nazi Party and during the 1930s produced and sold Nazi uniforms.

Boss died in 1948 but his son-in-law took over running of the company and it has risen to become a global fashion brand.

The logo of Hugo Boss, a German luxury fashion house, pictured on the Champs Elysees Avenue in Paris (AP)

In 2011, the company issued a statement, of "profound regret to those who suffered harm or hardship at the factory run by Hugo Boss under National Socialist rule".

Birmingham-born comedian Lycett is best known for his appearance on panel shows Would I Lie To You? and 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

Last year he took over presenting BBC fashion design talent show The Great British Sewing Bee from Claudia Winkleman.

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