At Master Kitchen Supplies on Delancey Street, a model sauntered past racks of bowls and spatulas in low-rise denim — the waistband of his boxers peeping out the top. They were Tommy Hilfiger, but the “Tommy” was covered up with masking tape that said “Elizabeth,” announcing a new Hilfiger on the fashion week scene.
Enter Elizabeth Hilfiger at the runway debut for her cheeky label Foo and Foo, which has been slowly growing since its 2018 founding. The brand Tuesday showed a full-fledged collection of her take on American basics — offering tactile, cool-fitting clothes with functionality built in.
The effort is part of her general goal to serve up “wearable clothes for cool kids,” she said backstage.
Part punk outdoor adventurer and another part vintage Americana, the collection was a crack at becoming a lifestyle brand. Hilfiger, who started Foo and Foo with a range of screen-printed T-shirts, now wants to be known for clothes that offer a larger purpose.
She was inspired by the days her Los Angeles studio lost air conditioning in the middle of a heat wave this summer. Climate change, she thought, is something we ought to get used to — and clothes can be part of that equation.
Many of the items were lined with fabric sourced from Techniche — a workwear company that develops cooling textiles for those at risk of heat exposure. Jackets came with removable patches in the back that, when soaked in water, can keep one cool for up to four hours. What looked like a crossbody handbag to the naked eye was actually an ice pack carrier that can remain chilled for up to 12 hours — an ideal accessory for anyone who has been stuck waiting in one of New York City’s wretchedly hot subway stations this week.
They were styled alongside some pairs of optimally slouchy jeans, navy thermal T-shirts purposely faded to look like they had been washed for 20 years, and low-slung skirts cinched with bungee cords in punchy colors.
“I don’t follow trends but I’m inspired by the preppiness [I grew up around]. I’m just doing what’s utilitarian, fun and playful,” she said.
Hilfiger’s brand is currently carried in a few select shops across Japan, but she’s hoping her first runway show will help spread the word as she looks toward growth.