NEW YORK — Christopher Cortez will report to work Monday morning as a full-time designer at the Tommy Hilfiger Co.
Cortez is not a typical new hire. He is the winner of Hilfiger's reality CBS-TV series, "The Cut," which wrapped up its first (and final) season Wednesday night. Cortez, 26, bested 15 contestants from around the country for a one-year design contract at Hilfiger at a $250,000 salary.
"The experience was great," he said Wednesday night. "It was quite a challenge in itself. The overall experience taught me I can do anything I put my mind to, as long as I stay humble."
Raised in Bridgeport, Conn., Cortez received his bachelor's degree in graphic design from Chamberlain School of Design in Boston, and his master's in fine arts from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He is living in San Francisco and will move here. He and his best friend own a hat company called Christopher Thomas, which sells to stores in Japan, San Francisco and Texas, as well as through his Web site, wishchristopherthomas.com.
Cortez said the highlight of the experience was meeting Tommy Hilfiger.
"He is one my idols, and to work alongside him was just amazing," Cortez said. "Just off the bat, I accomplished my dream."
Throughout the 13 weeks, Cortez performed multiple tasks, some of which involved the Hilfiger label.
Cortez has been wearing Hilfiger's clothes since 1995 and has more than 100 pieces in his collection.
In the final episode Wednesday night, Cortez had to create a window display at Macy's. Hilfiger was impressed that Cortez was "the total package" and had what it took to create a lifestyle brand.
"I thought he had the taste level, the stamina, the drive, the motivation and the personality," Hilfiger said on Wednesday. "He also loves the Tommy Hilfiger brand, which is extremely important."
Although "The Cut" hasn't been picked up for a second season, Hilfiger said he's happy he did it, and it wasn't too much of a distraction. "It took longer than I thought to film, but it was fun," he said. "You can't buy exposure like that. It was a good marketing experience."Cortez will have the opportunity to design a collection under the Tommy Hilfiger label and hopes it leads to something more.
"I would love it, if it worked out," he said. "I never see myself quitting the hat company. I'm not in that for the money. We do it out of pure love. It's like a band. Sometimes the band members do a solo. This is my time to do a solo album. I'd like to see where it takes me."
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)