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Tommy Hilfiger: The Music Man

Tommy Hilfiger’s connection to the music world is seemingly so innate that he and Rihanna popped on the same name for their latest productions: Loud.

Tommy Hilfiger’s connection to the music world is seemingly so innate that he and Rihanna popped on the same name for their latest productions: Loud.

Tommy got there first — his new Loud fragrances For Him and For Her hit the shelves of European perfumeries Oct. 1, while Rihanna’s fifth album, Loud, is slated for a Nov. 16 release.

When told of Rihanna’s nominal support for his new youth brews, he responded, “Wow, great. Maybe we can use her in New York.”

Veronique Gabai-Pinsky, global brand president for Aramis and Designer Fragrances, BeautyBank and IdeaBank at the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., was also taken by surprise. “It might just be that it’s in the air,” she said of the Loud duplication. “I believe there is a real need today for self-expression. It’s all been so stereotyped. And the basic idea of Loud is to express yourself.”

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Hilfiger, Gabai-Pinsky and the whole creative team behind Tommy Hilfiger Loud were in Berlin for the very music-charged launch event for Loud on Thursday. The public could buy tickets for the late-night concert celebration at E-werk, headlined by The Ting Tings. The British rock duet wrote “We’re Not the Same” specifically for Loud, which they perform in the scent’s TV ad. And they had a full house loudly rocking when they hit the E-werk stage at midnight.

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“I thought it would be more authentic to have our own song, so it’s not just a fragrance with a face, but one which resonates in music for a young audience,” said Hilfiger.

“Music is part of pop culture and it’s part of what propels Tommy Hilfiger,” he added. “We’ve worked with lots of artists over the years, sponsoring concerts or making clothes for them.” The list is long, and includes Britney Spears in her earliest days, David Bowie and Iman, the Rolling Stones, Beyoncé, Sheryl Crow, Lenny Kravitz, Usher and Jewel.

Who’s the sound of Tommy Hilfiger today? If Loud Radio, which will soon be available via, is any indication, it’s a big range, with some 250 artists selected because “their DNA is similar to Tommy’s brand,” according to executives.

“Music today is eclectic,” the designer noted. “And like fashion, where everyone has their individual style, one can also tailor music to your own liking.”

As for his personal taste, Hilfiger said “I always liked classic rock, from Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, the Stones, the Beatles and that’s never changed. But over the years I’ve expanded my scope to all kinds of music.” Admittedly, not all of it’s loud. “But if you’re in your twenties, all music sounds better if it’s loud.”

Berlin was plastered with posters for Hilfiger Denim Loud, a temporary renaming of the Hilfiger brand’s Hilfiger Denim Live live concert series. There were also telltale strips of pink gaffer’s tape all over town, and as night approached, projections of the Loud campaign visuals and concert information flashed off multiple walls. Four more Denim Loud shows are slated for Milan, Copenhagen, Madrid and Dublin this fall.

Hilfiger too will be on tour, returning to Europe in November for visits to Paris, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Madrid and London. His itinerary largely coincides with multiple Hilfiger store openings, including the biggest Hilfiger shop in Europe which is set to open on the Champs Elysées in November. The brand is also considering additional doors in Germany, Hilfiger’s largest European market and home to 80 Hilfiger stores.

“Business in Germany is developing rapidly,” he noted. “When we started in Europe 15 years ago, our ceo Fred Gehry wisely decided to cater to local markets. We don’t ship the same collection worldwide, and the result is we gain respect from our consumer base.”