Fashion Designers

Tommy Hilfiger: A Portrait of Main Street America

NEW YORK, Aug 27, 2001 (Updated Dec 20, 2008) / FW/ — “America is my heritage and Americans are my inspiration” Tommy Hilfiger once said. That sums up his designs since he launched his eponymous label. For if there is an All American designer, Tommy Hilfiger fits the bill to a T!

Tommy Hilfiger (Aug 22, 2001)

Tommy Hilfiger (Aug 22, 2001)

Born in Elmira New York in 1952, Tommy Hilfiger launched his fashion career in 1969 with the opening of People’s Store in upstate New York. Ten years later, he moved to the Big Apple and in 1984, he introduced his own signature collection.

Using the heartland America as his inspiration, Tommy Hilfiger’s collection reflects “good, clean, fun” featuring “real people” with clean cut looks. His designs reflect Main Street America complete with stars & stripes and the red, white & blue. And though his designs cater to the youth culture, pop music and team sports, Tommy Hilfiger also appeals to the 30something and 40 something crowd. In short, those who “grew up” with him during the 1970s and 1980s continue to buy his clothes.

Though he is not associated with any cult following, Tommy Hilfiger has a loyal clientele, much the same way that Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein have. All three share a common trait – they are businessmen and designers at the same time. All three understand that their clothes will sell better when it is advertised properly.

Tommy Hilfiger has his own set of detractors, too. There are those who say that he is not a true designer, but just a product of a great marketing strategy. But his longevity in this very fickle fashion business and the continued success of his company is proof enough that Tommy Hilfiger has carved his own niche in this competitive and creative business of fashion.

[MARI DAVIS]

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