If the October preview in Paris for Tommy Hilfiger’s spring collection didn’t inspire buyers and editors to put on a bikini or a boho dress and run out to the beach, then his second see-now-buy-now show, held steps from the ocean in Venice Beach, Calif., certainly should have.
The massive production featured 55 looks, a combination of Hilfiger Collection and the popular Tommy x Gigi capsule that Hilfiger co-designs with his brand ambassador Gigi Hadid.
The inspiration for the collection was California, with a loose “Summer of Love” theme that went along with the mini music festival that Hilfiger created along the iconic strip of sand, Still, the designer said his muse was Hadid. “It’s really all about Gigi. It’s about Southern California — sporty, casual, wearable, accessible and fun.”
One didn’t need the program notes to know that Hilfiger’s main references were music and Americana — they have been from the get-go in the Seventies — but the clothes also felt fresh and modern, no small thanks to Hadid, who both opened and closed the show.
For their second outing as co-designers, Hadid said, “It really stared with what I would want to wear to a day on Santa Monica Pier or out in the sun. It’s a lot about mixing and matching, color blocking, taking normal pieces like an oversize polo shirt and cropping it and putting patches on it. So it’s very creative, and, you know, it was kind of like teamwork.”
She looked through Hilfiger’s archives for inspiration (in fact, the program stated it was a collection of “greatest hits”), adding, “I wanted to celebrate the youth of Tommy as a brand so one of the pairs of jeans is based on an actual pair that Tommy patched with his siblings and cousins at one of the original Tommy Jeans workshops, so it’s kind of a celebration of youth and Tommy’s West Coast style.”
The lineup featured plenty of denim and cowboy boots, but there was also a patent leather A-line mini, a metallic fringe dress, and light blue and champagne moto jacket to add some shine, and several bathing suits, that for once didn’t seem out of place on a runway.
If last season’s debut of Tommy x Gigi spurred high double-digit sales growth, this season shows no signs of it flagging. By Wednesday night, most of the capsule collection had sold out online, making a strong case for the see-now-buy-now model, and perhaps a stronger case for the designed-by-a-model model.
No doubt the 2,000 consumers in the crowd went into social media nirvana watching Hadid, her little sister Bella and fellow Insta-famous model Hailey Baldwin walk the runway along with Joan Smalls, Sara Sampaio, Stella Maxwell and Devon Windsor. No longer voyeurs, they were part of the scene, snapping, shopping, and singing along. And with editors and buyers watching a runway show of pieces they’ve already seen, all that’s left to appreciate — for both contingents present — is the spectacle, which didn’t disappoint.