Tommy Hilfiger, which is owned by PVH Corp., has revealed the six finalists of the 2021 Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge, who were selected from more than 430 applications received from start-ups and scale-ups globally.
The third edition of the program strives to continue amplifying and supporting entrepreneurs of color who are working to advance their communities, while fostering a more inclusive future of fashion.
Over a multistep yearlong process, applications were thoroughly reviewed by internal and external experts based on a dedicated set of criteria, including potential social impact and market growth. The six finalists will pitch their business ideas to a jury panel consisting of business and sustainability leaders at the virtual global Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge final event on Jan. 12 and 13, 2022.
Arooj Aftab, content creator, illustrator, writer and founder of #DonewithDiversity, will host the final event, where the jury will award 200,000 euros to be split between two chosen winners in order to support their ventures. The winners will also receive a yearlong mentorship with Tommy Hilfiger and experts from INSEAD, the international business school, as well as a place in the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program. An additional 15,000 euros will be awarded to the finalist who Tommy Hilfiger associates select as their “Audience Favorite” vote.
“The Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge embodies our long-standing mission to harness the power of fashion to foster inclusivity, representation and change,” said Tommy Hilfiger. “Our industry will only move forward with new, fresh ideas that challenge how we think, build and create. As a brand, it’s vital we use our platform to give entrepreneurs like our finalists a voice and opportunity to create real and long-lasting impact.”
The six finalists are: Clothes to Good, a South African-based social enterprise that creates micro-business opportunities and jobs for people with disabilities and their families, especially mothers, through textile recycling; Haelixa, a Switzerland-based product traceability technology that aims to accelerate the global transition to transparent consumer goods supply chains; Mafi Mafi, an Ethiopian-based sustainable fashion brand that crafts ready-to-wear collections, preserving ancient traditions and empowering marginalized artisans; Lalaland, a Netherlands-based platform that uses artificial intelligence to generate customized and inclusive synthetic models of different ethnicities, ages and sizes, all with more than 35 pose variations; Soko, a Kenya-based jewelry business that uses mobile technology to connect marginalized Kenyan artisans directly to the global marketplace via a mobile platform, and Uzuri K&Y, a Rwanda-based eco-friendly shoe brand that uses recycled car tires from sub-Saharan Africa and employs local youth, equipping them with skills and economic independence.
The jurors are Hilfiger; Martijn Hagman, chief executive officer, Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe; Yara Shahidi, award-winning actress, producer and change agent; Esther Verburg, executive vice president, sustainable business and innovation, Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe; Adrian Johnson, entrepreneur, adjunct professor of entrepreneurship, technology and media at INSEAD; Katrin Ley, managing director for Fashion for Good and founding curator of the Amsterdam Global Shapers Hub, and Yvonne Jell, founding member and principal at investment firm Impact X Capital.
“As key players in the fashion industry, it is our responsibility to support, empower and encourage inclusivity. The Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge is a testament of our commitment to make a meaningful and lasting contribution toward a better fashion industry,” said Hagman. “It is in our nature to drive change, even in the most challenging of times, We are proud to continue amplifying the ideas of entrepreneurs that are creating the fashion landscape we want, and need, to see.
With the need to drive impact in the industry, the third year of the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge was done virtually to overcome the ongoing restrictions and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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