Tommy Hilfiger’s Winning Formula
The all-American designer shares some advice with the Condé Nast College
By Deanne R. Bañares
The students at the Condé Nast College of Fashion and Design welcomed legendary fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger into their halls last Friday afternoon. Duly dressed in preppy pieces, Hilfiger is the soul of the spirited, all-American brand that has garnered international renown. But, as he recounted with his audience, the climb to the top wasn’t one of ease.
“During high school, I worked in a gas station to open my own clothing shop. My family laughed at me when I told them I wanted to be a fashion designer,” he shared. Ignoring other people’s perceptions, Hilfiger started doing what he was always meant to do by acting upon his intuitions and inspirations. “I looked at all America has to offer in terms of pop culture – fashion, art, music, and entertainment - and decided that I wanted to package it in a brand and carry it worldwide.”
Hilfiger’s extraordinary passion to do so resulted in establishing his eponymous label while learning the tricks of the trade. “I taught myself how to deal with the business and management side,” he said. Subtly dropping success hints for the students, he shared a piece of advice: “The best brands are about people who are both business people and creative people.”
This winning formula has brought his brand to an impressive status. But when asked what his greatest achievement is, he immediately answered, “the Tommy Hilfiger Foundation. The idea is to give back by helping others get to a better place whether through medical attention or educational support.”
Fashion tends to be a rambunctious ride but Hilfiger admits that, “Even after 25 years, I still love what I do and look for ways to grow.” Certainly, the aspiring fashion students can take more than a thing or two from the man who inspired a lifestyle.
|The seats were to be filled by Principal Susie Forbes and Tommy Hilfiger|
|Funny - this was the exact outfit he was wearing when he gave the lecture|
Photo from therichest.com