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Tommy Hilfiger is shaking up the New York Fashion Week schedule.
This story first appeared in the August 2, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The designer, who typically shows his women’s runway collection during the Sunday time slot at 8 p.m., is moving to Monday, Sept. 9 at 11 a.m., following Carolina Herrera’s fashion show. He plans to show his women’s collection at Pier 94 on 12th Avenue and 55th Street, several blocks from Lincoln Center.
In addition, Hilfiger has decided to cancel his men’s runway show during fashion week.
“We’ve made a strategic decision to focus our attention during New York Fashion Week on our women’s business. Men’s wear remains at the heart of the Tommy Hilfiger brand, and we will continue to develop innovative ways to present our men’s collections through channels that speak directly to consumers,” said Avery Baker, chief marketing officer for the Tommy Hilfiger Group.
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Baker noted that the company has always invited U.S. and international retailers to the women’s show and will continue to do so. “We expect our emphasis on the women’s runway collection to have a halo effect on our women’s wear business overall,” she said. In recent seasons, Hilfiger’s Sunday night shows were held at the High Line and the Park Avenue Armory. The move to a new daytime slot is expected to allow the company to put more emphasis on the women’s runway collection, which seeks to expand its presence globally.
Hilfiger will take over the time slot from Belstaff, which has shown on Monday at 11 a.m. for the past two seasons. Hilfiger is an investor in Belstaff and a friend of its chief executive officer, Harry Slatkin. Belstaff plans to have a presentation and cocktail party on Sunday, Sept. 8 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Four Seasons Restaurant, said a Belstaff spokeswoman.
Currently, Hilfiger’s women’s business accounts for 40 percent of global retail sales, while men’s wear generates the remaining 60 percent. The women’s runway collection is sold exclusively in 26 Tommy Hilfiger stores globally, with plans to expand. There are more than 1,200 Hilfiger freestanding stores around the globe.
Simon Spurr, who had been men’s creative consultant for the Tommy Hilfiger runway collection, is no longer working on the collection. The parting was reportedly mutual and amicable. Spurr’s final collection was for fall. Hilfiger continues to work directly with the company’s in-house men’s and women’s design teams.
Many major men’s wear designers have found the September fashion week to be too late to show their collections, which have already been on sale for several months. While there are still men’s wear companies that continue to show during the September fashion week, such as Nautica, Perry Ellis, DKNY, Billy Reid, Duckie Brown and Michael Bastian, several major American designers opted to show their men’s lines earlier this summer, either in Europe or New York, such as Michael Kors, Rag & Bone, John Varvatos, Thom Browne and Calvin Klein. Ralph Lauren will show his men’s wear collection later this month. When Kors made the decision to show his men’s wear in July rather than wait until September, he told WWD, “That’s the women’s calendar. We’re opening the line for sale now. Showing the clothes in September doesn’t make sense.”
Rather than a runway show, Hilfiger plans to focus its efforts to reach the men’s consumer via its seasonal marketing programs. The programs engage directly with the consumer and are aimed to bring the brand to life through both digital experiences and physical installations. These have included Icon Collection, a collection of 25 American classics inspired by Hilfiger’s favorite style icons of all time; Prep House, an environment that embodied the “preppy roots” of the Hilfiger brand; Millennium Promise, a digital program that encouraged consumers to engage with the brand around its global philanthropy program, and Surf Shack, which was Hilfiger’s take on surf-prep.