Hugh grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and was taught the art of fashion design at the early age of twelve from his grandmother who created restaurant uniforms for their family business, Phillips Seafood Restaurants. Hugh fell in love with the entire process: sewing, sketching, and creating unique garments with a common vision.
In 1997, Simms followed in his father’s legacy and attend the Cornell School of Hospitality Administration, where he focused onbusiness and design. Upon graduation he went to work for his family’s business assisting in all forms of design including: fashion, interior, and graphic.
Hugh was also put in charge of overseas recruitment requiring him to travel across the globe to hire college students as part time employees for the busy summer season. While attending the local job fairs in various countries Hugh became immersed in their cultures. This led to many adventures including making friends with the local street artists of Prague to sharing design ideas in an underground Croatian speakeasy. These experiences became an influential addition to his design style.
In 2001, he was hand selected to be one of the five founding member for the Library of Congress Leaders Circle in Washington D.C.. After a successful two years of implementing programs and increasing awareness of the L.O.C. he began consulting with various established and startup companies on design and development.
In 2002, Hugh started a vintage tee shirt company with a fellow graphic designer in Ocean City, MD. The increasing success andintelligent anti-hero following led Hugh to break away to pursue his dreams of creating his self-titled brand.
In 2007, Taking pride in mastering his craft he moved to Los Angeles to attend the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) to polish his techniques. In 2009, Hugh then went on to apprentice under the Morrison family, who are three generations deep in neckwear craftsmanship and tailoring.
In 2011, Hugh partnered with two fellow Cornell alumni friends to launch the HUGH SIMMS brand and the first item was released, a successful unorthodox handcrafted neckwear line. Each additional HUGH SIMMS item released will have the same foundation and to ensure that Hugh wrote the Brand Commandments to avoid the pitfalls so many brands fall into such as looking for cheaper alternatives in product and labor ultimately sacrificing quality and abandoning the Red, White, and Blue.
In 2015, Hugh was named as the top rising fashion designer by Merge Magazine.