The Story Of Tommy Hilfiger: An American fashion designer and Founder of Tommy Hilfiger Corporation.
Story Of Tommy Hilfiger:-
Tommy Hilfiger was born on March 24th, 1951 as Thomas Jacob Hilfiger in Elmira, New York to jeweler Richard and Nurse Virginia. He was the second born of nine children and was raised a Catholic since launching. The story of Tommy Hilfiger and its brand is really fascinating.
His namesake brand in 1985, Tommy Hilfiger has become globally renowned as the pioneer of classic American cool style. Inspired by iconic pop culture and American heritage, the designer and his brand are driven by an ever-optimistic vision to break conventions and celebrate individuality.
Today, under Hilfiger’s guidance vision and leadership as principal designer, Tommy Hilfiger is one of the world’s most recognized lifestyle brands that, shares its inclusive and youthful spirit with consumers worldwide. In fact, for a period of time, story of tommy hilfiger, the very colors red white and blue were synonymous with the designer. He pioneered courting hip-hop artists in time before it was common practice, extending his brands reach even further.
15 Things You Didn’t Know About Tommy Hilfiger
1. As a child, Tommy Hilfiger Suffered From Dyslexia.
In an interview discussing his book American dreamer, he elaborated on his childhood struggle with reading. He says he just had to learn how to read differently. Saying, he cured himself. It’s not like he took medication or went to a specialist. He says, he forced himself to read each word as it presented itself rather than attempting to speed read like an average person.
2. Tommy Hilfiger Never Went To Design School
He began experimenting with design in the early 70s. At the age of 18, he opened a store called the people’s place in Almira, Washington that sold hippie, supplies like bell-bottoms, incense, and Records. Wildly successful at first, Hilfiger soon had a chain of stores and a six-figure income but a downturn in the economy hit his business hard and he filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1977. That setback only motivated him to work harder.
He’s quoted as saying:
“I forced myself to learn the nuts and bolts of the business and not solely on the creative side. I got hyper-focused on it. I learned how to read a balance sheet, I figured out how to control expenses and figured out a way to build a business on a shoestring budget. In school, they teach you through case studies of other companies…I had my case study.”
3. He was fired from Jordache after only working one year in 1976.
Hilfiger fell in love with Susie, an employee at one of his stores. The couple married and moved to Manhattan shortly after the bankruptcy. they were hired as a husband-and-wife design team by the apparel brand ‘Jordache’ but were fired after only one year Hilfiger developed a reputation as a hard-working, young designer and was considered for jobs at Perry Ellis and Calvin Klein, what he really wanted though was his own label.
4. He got his chance to launch that brand in 1984.
Hilfiger was approached by Indian entrepreneur Mohan Moorjani, who was looking for a designer to head a men’s sportswear line. Moorjani allowed Hilfiger to design the label under his own name. Stealing the deal, the pair announced Hilfiger’s arrival onto the scene with a blitz marketing campaign that included a bold billboard in New York City’s Times Square, announcing Hilfiger as the next big thing in American fashion. In fact, Hilfiger told a reporter in 1986, that he thought he was the next great American designer, the next Ralph Lauren or Calvin Klein.
5. Tommy Hilfiger has an estimated net worth of over 450 million dollars.
It was in 1984, when Tommy Hilfiger Corporation was launched. In 1992, the company went public Hilfiger, sales went up and up from 107 million dollars in 1992 to 138 million dollars in 1993 and 227 million in 1994. By the mid-1990s they were close to 500 Tommy Hilfiger sections within department stores. About half the company’s revenues came from sales at three big department store chains. As of 2004 the company already had more than 5,400 employees and was earning an annual revenue of more than 1.5 billion dollars.
However, over time the company sales began to decline, which led Hilfiger to sell the company to the private investment firm Apax Partners for 1.6 billion dollars. And in March 2010, he sold Tommy Hilfiger Corporation to the owner of Calvin Klein Corporation Phillips van Heusen for three billion dollars.
6. The first-ever Tommy Hilfiger campaign was legendary.
The line of Tommy Hilfiger clothing debuted in the fall of 1985 with an ad campaign that featured no clothes but declared that Hilfiger was the designer on par with Ralph Lauren, Perry Ellis, and Calvin Klein. The ads did little more than inserting Hilfiger’s name in the pantheon. Yet, this was somehow effective. The brashness of the strategy attracted attention in the fashion industry and caused comment by Johnny Carson and other notable people. The first ads were centered on New York City, using print and outdoor media. By 1987, the Hilfiger line was attracting more national attention with advertisements in people. USA Today, GQ, Sports Illustrated and other publications. The entire advertising budget for Hilfiger clothing was only 1.4 million dollars and ads appeared infrequently. However, they sure did make a splash with double-page spreads and because they featured words, logos or Hilfiger space, and no images of clothes or models they stood out from other fashion advertisements.
George Louis, who helped create the ads for the firm Louis, Pitts, GGK, claimed in a March 1988 marketing and media decisions article, that he could not make Hilfiger’s clothes look any better than anyone else’s, and therefore the ads sold an idea and not a particular fashion. According to one survey, after only two years of his ads, Hilfiger had succeeded in convincing 68% of sampled New Yorkers to name him as one of the top four or five important designers.
7. He received the title of the menswear designer of the year.
In 1995 he received the title of menswear designer of the year, which was conferred by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. His once skeptical peers recognized him as one of the best. Hilfiger made a name for himself by prominently putting his name and logo on his clothes and marketing them to urban youth in a way that other American designers had not done.
He harnessed a diverse following of consumers with his oversized, street style sportswear and relaxed all-American style of jeans, khakis, and polos, that began to be taken at the end of the 20th century. And to keep that name and logo prominent, Hilfiger invested a great deal in advertising. And the packaging of the product has surpassed any originality in the clothes themselves. He has raised the bar for fashion merchandising and image branding that has come to define American fashion.
8. He was a mentor to Sean Combs’ brand Sean John.
When Hilfiger was asked if he had any regrets of helping Sean Combs’ build his business, only to have it take away market share from him, he said, “I’ve always been a mentor to younger designers and people who have asked me for my advice… I also think what’s meant to be was meant to be… I was happy to help young people, who come to me for advice… many people helped me along the way…”
9. He briefly shortened his brand name to Tommy Hill.
This was back when he first established the company, but his business partner at the time, Mohan Murjani, convinced him to stick with his full surname to stand out in the business.
Seems like that was great advice to follow. 😀
10. He’s been accused of copying Ralph Lauren.
From the outset, Hilfiger has been compared to Ralph Lauren. He has been criticized for copying Lauren’s preppy style but gearing his signature: red, white and blue styles toward a younger market at more popular prices, Hilfiger, like Lauren has appeared in advertisements for his clothing line. Both men have used the American flag as an important marketing tool. Hilfiger has also replicated Lauren’s business model.
Even, employing former Lauren executives, to help build Tommy Hilfiger, which Hilfiger with backing from Silas Chow and Lauren’s novel enterprises, bought from Murjani in 1989. Chow, then incorporated Tommy Hilfiger in Hong Kong following Lauren’s lead in lifestyle merchandising. Hilfiger expanded his franchise by opening a number of stores, whose interiors reflect the all-American-ness his clothing by signing licensing agreements around the world and by offering a range of lines such as underclothing, accessories, fragrances, home décor, designer jeans, women’s wear, children’s wear, and a higher-end menswear collection. Hilfiger spent fifteen million dollars in advertising to launch his men’s fragrance “Tommy”, in 1995. Which at the time was the most money spent on a campaign for men’s fragrances.
11. The brand suffered major declines in the early 2000s.
Around the year 2000, his professional success began to dwindle down as he started suffering from financial troubles. His designs started losing their popularity with the hip-hop artists and sales went down by 75%. Tommy may have rested on his red white and blue laurels for too long at the time, because trendier brands like FUBU, dominated urban fashion. While Tommy’s clothes build bargain bins at Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s. Hilfiger tried a host of makeover strategies that didn’t work. A women’s sportswear collection failed miserably. Sponsorships of Mary J Blige and Sheryl Crow concerts didn’t sell more Capri pants. And while one of its new fragrances performed well, it didn’t turn around the company.
Though, Hilfiger’s impressive growth had slowed dramatically from the 1990s. The company remained a popular and well-known brand. Along with traditional advertising, the company chose to tout its image using unique methods, including the purchase of the sponsorship rights to Long Island’s Jones Beach Theater, one of the most successful amphitheaters in the United States. and the sponsorship of a 50-foot sailing vessel, the ship was named the Tommy Hilfiger freedom America yacht and would be racing in the challenging 27,000-mile 9-month endurance alone around race, that would launch in New York City in September of 2002. For Tommy Hilfiger Corp., remaining afloat of the highly competitive ever-changing fashion industry would no doubt prove to be just as challenging.
12. Tommy Hilfiger has partnered with supermodel Gigi Hadid.
Now going into their collection the collaboration between these two fashion forces has been a blast. The partnership has been equally beneficial for both of them. Gigi Hadid may have helped Tommy Hilfiger sell more bomber jackets, sweaters, and sailor outfits, but their partnership has apparently also been good for the supermodel. The designer said Hadid’s social media following has grown exponentially since joining the brand. Hadid, has more than 48 million followers on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook today, more than twice the number she had before their collaboration.
13. He is leading the charge of inventory lists showrooms.
Located at its global headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the digital showroom revolutionizes the sales experience for retailers by offering them a more engaging and seamless buying approach.
The interactive system blends collection information, sales tools and brand content in one seamless touchscreen interface. Hilfiger told the Post that we don’t have showrooms packed with clothes anymore. 13 of his 40 showrooms across the world are equipped with the IMAX Theater like technology and iPads, which show off his collection to buyers.
The centerpiece of the digital showroom is an interactive 0.5 m x 1 m touchscreen table, set in a sleek walnut frame that connects to a four-meter high wall to a wall grid of ultra-high-definition 4k screens. Customers can digitally view every item in the Tommy Hilfiger sportswear and Hilfiger denim seasonal collections and create custom orders all with product categories laid out across a single screen. They can view head to toe key looks, zoom in with incredible detail to see unique design features and click on a garment for specific information, such as color offerings and size ranges.