Hugo Boss's new womenswear line is running into trouble at the top of the management tree, reported Dow Jones, with two high level departures calling into question the future success for the range.

It was revealed last week that Grit Seymour, the designer of the range, is to leave the company just three months after the departure of Massimo Suppancig, the power behind the new apparel venture.

Caterina Salvador, a former Armani and Calvin Klein executive, will take over the design team while the womenswear division will become part of the larger Hugo Boss collection under chief executive Werner Baldessarini.

Baldessarini has worked at Hugo Boss since 1975 and is credited as the reason for the menswear company's success, but his domineering management style has been called into question by industry observers, who believe that Seymour and Supancig quit because of personality clashes.

"Suppancig left because Baldessarini wanted to call all the shots and make all the decisions. Down the road, this sort of management style could eventually become a problem," said a person familiar with the situation.

Hugo Boss moved into womenswear, which is growing faster than menswear, last year. Parent company Marzotto, the Italian textile manufacturer, has invested some ITL100bn in the new business. It is expected to bring in ITL350bn in 2005.

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