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Tommy Hilfiger will celebrate his brand’s silver anniversary in grand style.
This story first appeared in the July 28, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The global celebration encompasses a retrospective scrapbook of Hilfiger’s personal and professional life; an Icon collection inspired by the designer’s personal idols, such as Steve McQueen, James Dean and Grace Kelly; an Annie Leibovitz portrait of Hilfiger; a Macy’s tailgating event tied in with Fashion’s Night Out on Sept. 10, and Greatest Hits Remixed, a limited edition collection for Macy’s. The 25th anniversary will be capped off with the spring 2011 fashion show at Lincoln Center and party, both on Sept. 12.
The oversize coffee-table book, published by Assouline, tells Hilfiger’s life story through handwritten narrated images, quotes and inspirations in a scrapbook style. The book, which will be available next month in Hilfiger boutiques worldwide for $550, begins with a foreword by the designer in which he talks about his small-town roots and big-family childhood. It then travels through the decades with Hilfiger himself as the tour guide, showing family moments, photos from his archives, inspirational photos with such figures as John F. Kennedy Jr., Paul McCartney, Mickey Mouse, Elvis Presley, Sonny and Cher, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Grace Kelly. It traces his early days in Elmira, N.Y., his first store selling bell-bottom jeans and tie-dyed tops called People’s Place, his first jobs designing Cheque Point and Click-Point, his introduction to Mohan Murjani, original and iconic ad campaigns with George Lois for his first men’s wear ad campaign, and photos from the various concerts he sponsored, such as the Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz and Britney Spears. It also spotlights the firm’s later ad campaigns, his children growing up, New Yorker cartoons citing Hilfiger, parties, celebrities, his flagship stores, matchbook covers, his vacation home in Mustique, his Greenwich estates, and quotes from Anna Wintour, Leonard Lauder, Diane von Furstenberg, Quincy Jones, Terry Lundgren and Spears, among others.
“This book is a culmination of my life’s work, sharing some of my innermost thoughts over the years,” said Tommy Hilfiger, who personally worked on it for more than a year. “This book is the equivalent of me telling a friend about my family, how I got to where I am today and where I want to go from here.” The handmade 1,000 limited edition copies, each 14-by-17 inches, feature 144 pages, with more than 200 illustrations, 65 of which are tipped by hand.
The second part of the 25th anniversary celebration is the Icon Collection, inspired by the greatest pieces of Hilfiger’s heritage and updated for today. The collection will launch in October at all Hilfiger retail stores and key international wholesale accounts. The Icon collection was designed by the internal team and Hilfiger, and consists of 25 items, inspired by Grace Kelly, James Dean, Deborah Harry, Iggy Pop, Farrah Fawcett and Steve McQueen. For example, Dean inspired a navy peacoat, Kelly inspired a sleeveless trench and Harry gave inspiration to a hooded sweatshirt. For women, the line includes a chambray boyfriend shirt ($88), a nautical sailor sweater ($128), an ankle cowboy boot ($228) and blue jeans ($128). Items in the men’s collection include a blue blazer ($298), a white oxford shirt ($78) and the Varsity shawl cardigan ($118). The collection is rounded out with other essentials such as a weekender bag, desert boots, a long-sleeve piqué polo, a wristwatch, a college-stripe tie and college-stripe socks.
Hilfiger’s firm partnered with Australian artist Michael Zavros to do paintings of the icons who inspired the collection, which will appear in-store, in windows and on shopping bags.
Another element of the celebration includes a viral video that will run on YouTube in October, featuring Locksley, an up-and-coming rock band.
For Macy’s, which has the Tommy Hilfiger line exclusively in the U.S., the company has developed Greatest Hits Remixed, a modern take on Hilfiger’s style. They, too, will get a special collection inspired by the 25th anniversary. These favorite pieces will be curated into a traveling retrospective that will hit Macy’s Herald Square, State Street Chicago and Union Square San Francisco stores. “We took over the windows when we launched Tommy Hilfiger at Macy’s, and we’ll do a similar takeover of the flagship stores,” said Avery Baker, executive vice president of global marketing and communications at Hilfiger.
Macy’s will also host a tailgating event in front of the Herald Square flagship with The Hilfigers, the fictional family that’s depicted in the fall 2010 ad campaign. It will be part of Fashion’s Night Out on Sept. 10. There will be entertainment and the re-creation of the tailgating experience.
On Sept. 12, Hilfiger will stage his spring fashion show at Lincoln Center, followed by a party, with a special live musical performance by an artist who has yet to be announced.