Anybody who is slightly in touch with fashion and trends would not have missed the name ‘Tommy Hilfiger’. The classic maroon-red, blue and white stripes give the brand a signature look. The brand mostly concentrates on bringing in the vintage styles back with a modern, re-created look. The modified version of the old looks is in trend today worn by a huge population of people, around the globe. Undoubtedly, the Tommy Hilfiger brand has emerged to be one of the fewest brands whose products almost every person wishes to own someday. The icon, Tommy Hilfiger mostly concentrates on making a line of subtle basics that are inspired by the vintage styles.
Tommy has been expanding his area since the 1980s and has conquered almost half of the fashion industry. The brand has lines that spread from basic t-shirts, polo collections, major sports collections, to crop jackets and hoodies, to bags and accessories; both for men and women. The Fall or Spring Collections they release are a relief to our eyes and heart, especially in such times. But how did this powerhouse designer, the beast behind the label, get to this position? Tommy Hilfiger has not always been this beaming and busy. The apparel company that today has a global retail sale of 8.5 billion dollars, has not been this well-established since forever. Let us take a look at the history, struggle, collections, and future of Tommy Hilfiger.
Tommy Hilfiger, the conqueror himself!
Tommy Hilfiger, the renowned designer is the founder of Tommy Hilfiger Corporation. It is the umbrella company for all the other sections. This includes Tommy Jeans, Tommy Sport along with other accessories and footwear. In the year 1971, the New Yorker decided to put faith in himself and opened a little shop with his savings. Being born and brought up in New York, the genius introduced the American style to the world. At the early age of 18 years, Tommy opened the shop as an innovative space for creative minds. People from various backgrounds were welcomed to People’s Place. As the name suggested, a diverse range of people found comfort in creativity in art, fashion, music forms, and the emerging pop culture.
Tommy Hilfiger is always proud of the journey they traveled as a brand, a huge label, and an umbrella company. Tommy himself boosts over the fact that his brand has been carved out of the cultural revolution that started in the 1960s. People’s Place was truly a place loved by one and all at its time. People gathered there, exchanged thoughts and ideas based upon creativity and critical thinking. They felt safe and heard in the space created by Tommy. People’s love for the brand also comes from the initiatives taken by the brand, like promoting self-expression, inclusion, diversity in terms of race, culture, color, etc. All this led to coming up with the People’s Place Program. The program safeguards and encourages people’s thoughts, ideas, creativity skills, etc.
He still puts in a lot of effort to maintain the brand name by promoting diversity and inclusion in all his collections and a range of new lines. Tommy Hilfiger is proud to be a part of the PVH Company Group. Today Tommy Hilfiger not only has a wide range of clothing lines irrespective of gender, age, or size; it also has an array of accessories. The accessories range from classy eyewear to a fruity long-lasting range of fragrances. It features watches, luxurious leather items, swimwear, etc, that are all in the latest trends. The man has attempted to establish American inclusion by appointing several spokespersons from various backgrounds. In 2012 he was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Tommy Hilfiger was born in Elmira in New York. Elmira is also the birthplace of the brand, Tommy Hilfiger. The famous brand initially had a meek beginning in the 1970s. The first store was opened in 1969 and was originally named People’s Place. Even now, they have put recognition of the old name, and have created the People’s Place Program. The shop was known to serve as various platforms like a salon or a record store. It even hosted the then-emerging rock shows in the shop’s basement. All this gave little to humble returns as a business but the show was soon interrupted by an idea. The idea was to introduce trending New York clothes to the world. Hence, Tommy started to design clothes.
Unfortunately, in 1977, People’s Place went poorly bankrupt. However, the man with the bravest of heart never gave up. He found his hidden passion in designing and gave it all his energy. He enrolled himself in various fashion designing and technology classes to develop the skills needed to run design clothes and run the brand. He worked hard, collaborated with then-famous brands, and started the journey of success. With all this effort, in the year 1985, he was finally able to open a store with today’s most wanted label name, Tommy Hilfiger.
Where are Tommy Hilfiger’s clothes designed?
The clothes under the Tommy Hilfiger brand have Made in China and Made in Vietnam labels. The brand itself puts in a lot of effort to work with the members of the local communities. The brand sees to it that they establish proper communication with each of the members concerned, so they don’t feel like outsiders.
Tommy Hilfiger believes in closely working within the production factories to get the best possible result in terms of quality products. The workers and the entire local community in China and Vietnam are the heart of the brand. Other than this, the brand has been aiming for attaining some major sustainability goals. They are fully committed to using materials and become a member of a sustainability loop by the year, 2030. To achieve this goal, Tommy Hilfiger has already started working in sectors that should have sustainable management, like the water, chemicals, and energy sectors.
What influenced Tommy Hilfiger?
It is no surprise that Tommy Hilfiger began his designing and fashion career after being inspired by the bell-bottoms of New York. He worked on the existing 70s style and modified them to bring out preppy blouses and bottom-wears. His sophisticated designs are inspired by the vintage American style that rules most celebrities’ wardrobes today. The whole process happened over a long period. Another important factor that inspired his designs and creativity to make beautiful clothing lines is music. The man took inspiration from subcultural music. The entire time duration where People’s Place evolved to Tommy Hilfiger was guided by the onset of several pieces of music.
The evolution was sculpted by rock culture, mostly. He took inspiration from then American legends. His diverse range had Iggy Pop, or Debbie Harry, even James Dean, and Farrah Fawcett as major inspirations. Thus, came in the unique set of diverse designs and patterns that are responsible for the brand name, today.
Tommy Hilfiger Style since the 80s
Since time immemorial, Tommy Hilfiger was known for its premium quality products and a brand that had collections composed of rich, sophisticated lifestyle apparel and accessories. The fashion brand has evolved over several decades. Each decade brought with it a new sense of fashion and creativity that inspired them to design unique products.
Tommy Hilfiger only began to officially make a profit from the mid-80s. It took the brand quite some amount of time to get the minimum level of publicity. It struggled a lot till 1985. This is the year that is marked as a milestone for the brand. In 1985, for the very first time, the Tommy Hilfiger brand got its first advertisement displayed in the central part of Times Square in New York. It marked the beginning of the success for Tommy Hilfiger.
The brand brought in bright colors (especially pink) in a free-spirited way into their clothing line. It made baggy shirts famous, paired with tight high-knee shorts or casual dresses with cool shades. The 80s led the brand straight into the 90s that made them even more famous. The success range hit hard when Tommy Hilfiger’s models were started being compared to Calvin Klein ones.
Jump in the ’90s
Though they gained publicity in terms of male models they owned, as a brand Tommy Hilfiger did not gain much attention anywhere. This was till the late 80s or early 90s. With the Hip-Hop and Rock culture slowly fading away in America, there was a sudden surge of Tommy’s clothing line as the rappers and several musicians started promoting it. Back then, very few companies and brands were familiar with the concept of ‘product placement’.
With this sudden decision, two things happened in one go. Tommy Hilfiger got immense publicity, like never before and everyone witnessed the returning of the Hip Hop culture. Several celebrities wore Tommy Hilfiger in the 90s. Wu-tang-clan and Snoop Dogg promoted the brand in a big way. Rappers like Grand Puba were highly impressed by the design, material of the clothes as well as the initiatives they were taking for a better environment. He loved the brand and its work so much that he composed a song that had the name Tommy Hilfiger in it.
Although at that time, Grand Puba was an emerging rapper and not yet well established, he took the risk to feature Tommy’s clothes in his albums and rap the name in his song. This too earned him a position in the world of music. Famous or not famous, celebrities chose to sport Tommy Hilfiger above other brands in the 90s and that gave the brand a huge success story at that time. The infamous L.A. rapper of the 90s, Snoop Dogg chose to boost a Tommy Hilfiger design while attending the Saturday Night Live, an American TV Show. Featuring the label that day acted as a miracle for Tommy, since the sale for the clothing line went sky-high the very next day. People were gushing all over to get clothes from the brand that Snoop Dogg wore last day. This also helped them achieve global recognition.
The 00s for Tommy Hilfiger
Although the decade witnessed fading away of the rock and hip-hop culture, it strengthened grounds for Tommy Hilfiger. The 80s and 90s helped the brand establish a healthy relationship with the music industry than the other art industries.
Having said this, it was not long before other brands emerged and hurled upon the music industry. Tommy, at that time, was giving exposure only to the male gender as the men were the only ones who shopped from the brand. By 95’, women too took interest in the label and welcomed it in their household. To make their female clothing line suitable and attractive to the female sector of the society, Tommy Hilfiger included decorative items like embroidery, beads, colorful prints of various sizes and shapes. The brand introduced elements of stripes and frills in women’s apparel. Then mono-colors, Tommy focussed on using multi-colored designs and darker shades.
The Vogue witnessed women in crimson jackets and bottom-wears with snakeskin prints. The brand logo was empowering to women. Women welcomed a range of patchwork and floral-printed dresses. To complete the cool look, Tommy introduced Cowboy boots. All this added to the collection and created firm roots for the brand.
Tommy Hilfiger in todays’ times
The journey of Tommy Hilfiger began from Grand Puba and Snoop Dogg. It went on further to be publicized by queen Aaliyah. After the 2000s, Tommy Hilfiger set in as the most sophisticated brand everywhere in the world. Some of its highlights include the release of Bugs Bunny edition stuffed toy by the Warner Brothers Studio. The toys wore Tommy’s clothing line and increased its publicity among the children too. The iconic singer and music star, Micheal Jackson too sported a Tommy Hilfiger brand jumper. The legend clicked in Tommy Hilfiger for a magazine, Vibe. This helped them reach heights of publicity and become a renowned brand all over the globe. With Michael Jackson pulling the brand name this far, other stars and celebrities followed their way through the Tommy Hilfiger clothing line.
In our times came huge actors and models for collaboration with the Tommy Hilfiger brand. The famous British racing driver, Lewis Hamilton collaborated with Tommy. Now, Tommy Hilfiger is an established brand with which every model wants to do a collaborate. Be it GiGi Hadid or Zendaya, Tommy Hilfiger is the one name that tops the list for brand collaboration that earns fame and publicity. Other than that, today, almost every actor sports a Tommy Hilfiger brand, be it at a screening or while attending a social cause. Celebrities all over the globe, be it the famous Pataudi’s grandson, the little munchkin, Taimur Ali Khan or Kendall Jenner, or Ellie Goulding, everyone loves to sport a Tommy outfit.
Tommy Hilfiger Women’s Clothing Line
Since the late 80s, Tommy Hilfiger has been dedicated to developing choosy, classy women’s clothing and accessories. The range of Women’s clothing goes from shimmery, preppy dresses, to the athletic range, to lacy intimates, to vintage-style t-shirts and hoodies. For the last 40 years, Tommy Hilfiger has been dedicated to working on creating unique and vintage styles for women.
In terms of clothing lines, the brand focuses on re-inventing some of the iconic styles that are considered outdated by many. They have brought an evolution in puffers, pea coats, and trench coats. Doing so does not stop them from maintaining sustainability through eco-friendly insulation. Let us see some of Tommy Hilfiger’s most iconic and unique re-inventions to vintage styles. In women’s apparel, Tommy introduced modern women to polo, the chic shirtdress, and a classy trench coat.
Let us not forget Tommy Jeans that brought in a denim surge around the globe. From the 80s bell-bottoms being re-invented to skinny jeans that outline the legs well, Tommy has given it all to the Women’s Jeans section. One important factor did not change in several decades, that is, Tommy’s love for Women’s streetwear collection and a range of sportswear. Other than the clothing line, Tommy played great cards in the footwear section.
The diversity in footwear ranges from shiny pair of white sneakers to elegant leather heels to sporty hiking boots to casual pool slides. Recently, Tommy partnered with another brand to collaborate and co-create a range of clothing apparel. This includes denim overalls (yes Rachel Green from FRIENDS styled!).
Along with that, it introduced shimmery sequin dresses and graphic crop tops. To top all this, Tommy as usual came up with a great initiative to introduce the Curve line. The Curve line is specially designed for women with plus size. Tommy Hilfiger believes in inclusion and wants fashion to be accessible to women from every walk of life, irrespective of their shape, size, or color. The Curve line, too, has a range of clothing lines that would aww every woman and make them fall in love with various Spring, Fall, or Winter Collections. The Line sports clothes ranging from comfortable and trendy intimates to elegant bodysuits to sensual bikinis.
Another line that was brought into view by Tommy Hilfiger was the Adaptive Line. This line is solely for women with disabilities. The Adaptive Line sports clothes are beyond traditional wear and present women with innovative solutions that would make dressing easier for them. The innovative clothes and other essentials help women with disabilities to stay in fashion and dress as they want to. Tommy Hilfiger brings out the diverse nature of human beings and their collaborations to bring in Curve and Adaptive Lines are a living, breathing proof of them. Let us take a closer look at each of the women’s clothing collections under the Tommy Hilfiger brand.
Women’s Sport Collection
Tommy Hilfiger has developed a range of women’s sports apparel. The range brings in stretchy leggings and pastel to solid color durable sports bras. The sportswear range from trendy active tops to easy fit-in cropped tri-color jackets as in here. Tommy believes in adding a sporty style to everything with the logo and the Flag Logo Tee is a perfect example of it.
Women’s Performance Collection
The Performance collection is much like the sportswear collection itself. It creates a more fashionable and modern approach to women’s athletic adventure with dark shades of elastic waist track pants like here. The pants or joggers can be paired with this French terry fabricated sweatshirt.
Women’s Intimate Collection
The Intimate Collection of Tommy Hilfiger showcases a unique range of bras that bring out modern women’s nature. The bras range from pastel shade bralette with the iconic Tommy Hilfiger brand logo like this to patterned push-up bras like here.
- Women’s Dress Collection
The dresses are mostly inspired by the Tommy Hilfiger Spring or Fall Collection 2020. The designs are inspired by the vintage midis as is in this one. They also add a timeless and sophisticated look to a normal dress as in this one. Sometimes the dresses include high embroidery or overprinting that gives them a vintage appearance.
Women’s Lounge and Sleep Collection
To add to the existing fashion trends, the Tommy Hilfiger brand adds something extra to each of their collections. The pullover and jogger set has small patterns in solid colors like here. Tommy has shown that a sweatshirt can be both good as loungewear as well as casual outings like here.
Women’s Suit Separates Collection
When coming to suits and blazers, let us not forget how celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian looked breathless in the snakeskin printed suit. Be it a full button at the middle or a crested button at the top, Tommy manages to create heritage blazers like this. Even a simple white peplum jacket would stand out as a statement piece when Tommy’s tri-color gets is put on it, like here.
Tommy Hilfiger in Future
We expect Tommy Hilfiger to know no bounds in creating a brand name in the fashion industry. As witnessed in several other decades, Tommy is a brand that comes out stronger than ever, each time it faces a downfall in the industry. Tommy Hilfiger brand will stand strong in the upcoming years and will bring out the best in every person. Its initiatives like the Curve Line or the Adaptive Line will truly make it a people’s brand. The sustainability goal that is to be reached by 2030 will show an immensely positive result in glorifying the name of the brand. Tommy Hilfiger is a brand that gives a taste of the past with the innovation of the present through its clothing ideas. It is the most established a d successful brand of the 21st Century and we hope to see better outcomes from the vintage recreating brand.
Feature Image Source: Boathouse