2013 September 9
Tommy's New Moves!
Giorgio Niro View Gallery
(NEW YORK) He’s abandoned his regular Sunday night slot for the cool factor of Pier 94 on Monday morning. Tommy Hilfiger's global empire is expanding and his new collection couldn’t be more buoyantly chic and filled with his signature joie de Hilfiger. The Daily got the preview.
BY EDDIE ROCHE
Let’s start with your collection for spring. What are we going to see today?
It’s playful, young, spirited, and sporty with a California vibe.
Are you going all-out with the set?
We recreated a California beach scene with sand dunes and a boardwalk.
Why is a true production important to you?
We have editors, buyers, and people who come from all around the world. We want them to come to New York, which is our real home, and put on a show for them, not just a runway presentation. A show adds a lot of ambiance to the whole collection. The models and styling are important, but the background and scenery are equally important.
Did you spend a lot of time at the beach this summer?
I was in California, Mustique, and Greece.
Do you still surf?
OK, so back to the show. You’ll be showing in the morning. That’s a departure!
We’re used to showing at night and now we’re showing in the daytime, and interestingly enough we’ve had more RSVPs than ever. I used to think people wanted to come see a show at night.
Every season, you sponsor the CFDA and Vogue’s American In Paris presentation for young designers. What’s the motivation behind that?
I like mentoring younger people. Anna Wintour asked me if I wanted to be involved a few years ago and I jumped at the chance. I thought it was a great idea to be able to give an opportunity to young American designers who are incredibly talented, but might not have that opportunity to show in Europe. I got a lot out of it.
Who were your mentors?
Leonard Lauder has been a mentor for many years. I also look up to other designers. Karl Lagerfeld is a genius.
Which brands are you envious of today?
I wouldn’t say I’m envious, but it’s interesting to watch why and how someone builds a megabrand. We are in that fray where you’re really becoming aware of what goes on globally and what the pitfalls and opportunities are. Most of the mega brands are done as a result of all-star teams. We have a list of brands from Chanel to Uniqlo that I’m very impressed by because I know how hard it is. It’s a lot of work. It takes a lot of motivation and creativity.
Your story is so unique. Could you become “Tommy” if you started your brand today?
Having that drive and urge and burning desire propels you into making it. I’d be able to do it over again, but in a different way. I wouldn’t do it the same. Social media is around now! Positioning in the global marketplace has a lot to do with it.
And your talent helped!
Talent is a part of it, but there are a lot of other factors.
Would your 18-year-old self ever have imagined that the brand would be so gigantic?
It was a distant dream. Every time I achieved another level of success, I would dream even beyond and reach another level. What’s next? I would always know what next would be before I reached that next level. I would always think if I could reach that one level on the ladder, where else should I go?
OK, so then what is next?
I love what I’m doing! I love the opportunity to be creative and also be involved in the shows, the press, and the technology part of the business. I love the people I work with. I also have other hobbies. I have a passion for art, homes, traveling, but this is my life. This is the root of who I am.
Are you still able to stay interested every season?
I’m pretty enthusiastic. It comes as a result of having a great team. Years back it would be daunting to think that we’d even be able to have a show. We didn’t have the money, the clothes weren’t ready in time or they weren’t made well or didn’t fit well. We’d stitch it all together in the end, but we don’t have those problems now, because of our team. We use the best models, we have the best stylists. We have all stars. They’re all cogs in the wheel.
Why do women find your clothes so sexy?
Youthfulness and color has a lot to do with it. I also think that even though we’re preppy, we’re always changing. Sometimes we’re sporty and sometimes we’re outdoorsy. Sometimes more or less structured. We’re always spirited.
Let’s switch gears. What does Tommy watch on TV?
CNN, some sports, I like documentaries. I loved the documentary on Jean-Michel Basquiat. I like them when they’re about people. I did watch the MTV Music Awards.
Thoughts on that Miley Cyrus performance?
She’s doing exactly what Madonna did at that age. It’s the same thing that Lady Gaga has been doing for the past few years.
Would you ever want to be the subject of a documentary?
When I get much older and sit back on my life. I need another 10 or 20 years and then I could do it.
What do you eat for lunch every day?
Some sort of fish and salad.
Do you order in?
Sometimes, but many times I go out.
Where would we spot you in New York City?
My answer is pretty boring. I’m going to Lure tonight. I like Harlow uptown. I was at The Waverly last night and saw Graydon Carter there. I also love The Monkey Bar.
What do you eat at The Waverly?
No mac and cheese for you?
I love it, but I’m staying away from it. It loves me too much.
How do you like your pizza?
Margherita. I also like a bit of fig and prosciutto on it.
What magazines do you read?
GQ, Vogue, W, Bazaar, InStyle. I like a lot of the British magazines like Tatler and British Vogue. I get every fashion magazine. I also like Rolling Stone.
What’s your daughter Ally up to these days?
She’s living in L.A., painting. She just moved out there.
Can you still walk out on the streets without security?
I can. If I’m going to an event I bring security. I don’t get harassed on the streets like I’m sure other people do.
Do you always wear Tommy?
Ninety-nine percent of the time.
I’m wearing you today!
I thought so!
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