British bisexual comic Joe Lycett has changed his name to Hugo Boss to protest the way the company protects its brand.
Lycett tweeted: ‘So @HugoBoss (who turnover approx $2.7 billion a year) have sent cease and desist letters to a number of small businesses and charities who use the word ‘Boss’ or similar, including a small brewery in Swansea costing them thousands in legal fees and rebranding.
‘It is 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. Enjoy.’
The 31-year-old added the formal document from the UK Deed Poll Office London – registering his legal change of name.
And he added two further humiliations on the original Hugo Boss.
First, his new signature sees him write his first name on its side with an extra long U, so it looks like a penis pointing at the word Boss.
Secondly he is also threatening to bring out new products as Hugo Boss.
He tweeted: ‘I am pleased to announce that I will be launching a brand new product as Hugo Boss.’
And he promised the full story will emerge in the new series of his Channel 4 show Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back. The show tackles consumer issues with a comic twist.
Cease and desist
The new Hugo Boss’ actions are particularly to defend Boss Brewing in Swansea, Wales.
The fashion titan Hugo Boss issued a cease and desist letter telling it to stop calling itself Boss.
Boss Brewing owners Sarah John and Roy Allkin endured a four-month legal battle after applying to trademark the name of their business. The process is supposed to only cost £300 but the fashion label’s intervention means they racked up lawyers’ fees of nearly £10,000.
After months of negotiations, the brewery had to change the name of two award-winning beers and stop producing clothing.
And in 2018 the fashion brand Hugo Boss also sent a legal letter to a charity called DarkGirlBoss when it tried to trademark its name.
Not a Nazi
Hugo Boss, often known as Boss, has existed since 1924 and employs more than 14,000 people in 127 countries.
In 2011, it finally apologized for a very dark past.
During the Second World War, the company produced the SS uniforms for the Nazis, using slave labor. Moreover it’s founder, Hugo Boss, was a long-time Nazi party member and supporter of Adolf Hitler.
The new Hugo Boss, the comic formerly known as Joe Lycett, also tweeted:
‘Hugo Boss did not historically manufacture uniforms for the Nazis. Sorry, THIS Hugo Boss did not historically manufacture uniforms for the Nazis.’
Joe Lycett, the new Hugo Boss
The new Hugo Boss frequently refers to his bisexuality and pansexuality as part of his stand-up comedy routines.
And he has pulled off many amazing stunts in the past.
In the last series of Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, Boss impersonated a boss at banking giant RBS to get £8,000 back for a bank fraud victim, He even performed a flashmob outside their offices, gaining 9.1million views on Facebook.
He also took on other giants including Britannia Hotels, easyJet, Uber Eats and SpareRoom.
And in May 2019, Boss got Yvonne Mosquito, the lord mayor of his native Birmingham, England to officially open his kitchen extension. At first Mosquito declined, as it was not a public event. But Boss raffled four tickets to the event to the public and she agreed.