Tommy Hilfiger will receive the John B. Fairchild Honor at the WWD CEO Summit gala on Oct. 25.
The event will be held at Cipriani South Street.
The John B. Fairchild Award recognizes a career of influence and distinction in the fashion industry. Named after WWD’s late chairman and editorial director and chosen by its current editors, the honor was introduced in 2016 as part of WWD’s annual celebration of creative vision, performance and leadership in the fashion industry.
Hilfiger joins such distinguished industry leaders as Ralph Lauren, Karl Lagerfeld, Leonard Lauder, Giorgio Armani and Miuccia Prada in receiving the John B. Fairchild Honor for lifetime achievement.
“I am so honored,” said Tommy Hilfiger, principal designer, Tommy Hilfiger Global, a division of PVH Corp. “It was so unexpected and out of the blue. I’m actually at a loss for words. I do remember the first time I met Mr. Fairchild in 1985. I was just beginning my career and I was invited to go to lunch with him at Le Cirque. I was petrified. I had never been to such a chic restaurant like that in my life. He made me feel totally at ease, entertaining me with stories of legends such as Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. He had an amazing sense of humor and incredible wit. I’ll never forget the times I spent with him. I’m absolutely thrilled and extremely humbled to receive this great honor. Thank you WWD.”
James Fallon, editorial director of WWD, said, “Ever since he launched his brand, Tommy Hilfiger has been a trailblazer and a designer who has constantly reinvented his business while staying true to the aesthetic he carved out more than 35 years ago. From memorable marketing campaigns to design collaborations with everyone from Gigi Hadid to Zendaya and being among the first labels to adopt technologies such as gaming and the metaverse, Tommy has always been at the forefront, and well deserving of this honor named after Mr. Fairchild.”
Amanda Smith, president of Fairchild Media Group, parent of WWD, said, “Like John B. Fairchild himself, Tommy Hilfiger is a force of fashion. More than just an industry pioneer and the face of street style, Tommy has been the quintessential champion of sustainability, inclusivity, social impact and the real issues that drive fashion forward. It is an honor for us to have this opportunity to celebrate his legacy and to provide a global platform to share his vision for the future.”
From his humble beginnings growing up in Elmira, New York as one of nine children, Hilfiger helped build what has become a $9.3 billion global retail business, by successfully capitalizing on celebrities, music and entertainment to keep the label current and top-of-mind with younger consumers. Hilfiger started by offering a namesake menswear collection that was preppy with a twist in 1985, and later added womenswear, jeanswear, home, children’s wear, beauty, footwear, accessories, watches and eyewear. The brand is available in 100 countries and more than 2,000 retail stores, including tommy.com.
The company, which was acquired by PVH in 2010, has been propelled by designer collaborations such as those with Gigi Hadid, Zendaya and Lewis Hamilton, as well as initiatives such as 3D design, artificial intelligence, digital showrooms, sustainability, diversity practices and an active gaming and metaverse presence. The 71-year-old Hilfiger has prided himself on always looking ahead and being innovative, aiming to anticipate what will be next.
Through the global TommyCares organization, the brand supports various international initiatives and charities such as Save the Children and the World Wildlife Fund. Hilfiger sits on the board of Next for Autism. He is also actively involved in The Memorial Foundation, builders of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Fresh Air Fund and the Race to Erase MS.
Hilfiger and his family established the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School at Elmira College, in not only the town where he grew up, but also where he opened his first retail store, People’s Place, as a high school student.
Hilfiger was awarded CFDA’s Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, British GQ’s Design Legend of the Year in 2020 and BFC’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 2021.
Additional WWD honors will be revealed at a later date.
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