Tommy Hilfiger, which is owned by PVH Corp., is accepting applications for the third edition of the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge from today through March 8. The global program aims to support entrepreneurial start-up and scale-up stage businesses that develop solutions that make a positive social impact on the fashion landscape.
Since its start in 2018, the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge has awarded 350,000 euros to entrepreneurs. Building upon Hilfiger’s sustainability platform to Waste Nothing and Welcome All, the third edition of the program aims to amplify and support Black, Indigenous and people of color entrepreneurs who are working to advance their communities and foster a more inclusive future of fashion.
For the first time, consumers are also invited to get involved and help judge submissions.
“The Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge puts a spotlight on entrepreneurs putting their heart and soul into making a positive social impact in our industry,” Tommy Hilfiger said. “This year, we want to showcase an even more diverse range of perspectives, ideas and communities by supporting BIPOC entrepreneurs. We have a responsibility to drive change across the fashion landscape, and I am honored to further our commitment to inclusivity and equal representation through the upcoming Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge.”
Interested businesses are invited to submit project proposals that focus on creating a more inclusive fashion value chain. Applicants will be narrowed down to six finalists in the fall, who will be invited to develop their project plans virtually with the support of dedicated Hilfiger and external subject matter experts. Finalists, who will get training from an experienced pitch coach, will present their final concept to a jury panel and associate audience at the global Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge final event to be held in early 2022.
Consumer judges will be asked to narrow down finalists from 200 to 50, with each being sent at least four applications to judge via the brand’s online microsite. Applications to become a consumer judge and to apply can be made through responsibility.pvh.com/tommy/fashion-frontier-challenge.
This year’s program prizes have been increased from previous years. A total of 200,000 euros will be awarded between winners. There is also an opportunity for an additional 15,000 euros prize for winning the “Audience Favorite Vote.” Prizes also include a yearlong mentorship with global Hilfiger internal experts, a place on the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program and a yearlong INSEAD mentorship.
“While the fashion industry has taken positive steps toward becoming more inclusive and diverse, there is still more to be done,” said Martijn Hagman, chief executive officer of Tommy Hilfiger Global. “Through the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge, we are furthering our commitment toward representation and diversity and helping drive the changes we most want, and need, to see.”
Last February, Hilfiger chose Apon Wellbeing and A Beautiful Mess as winners of the 2019 Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge, as reported. Apon Wellbeing, founded by Saif Rashid, was awarded 75,000 euros. The Bangladesh-based scale-up opens fair-priced shops carrying daily necessities inside factories, with products offered at a 10 percent discount to external prices and a points program that workers collect for free health insurance and health services.
Dutch start-up A Beautiful Mess was also awarded 75,000 euros. The business runs a creative space to assist refugees in helping to achieve social and economic independence by creating sustainable apparel products.
A third start-up, Sudara, was selected as the “Audience Favorite Vote,” and was awarded 10,000 euros. Based in India and the U.S., Sudara is a scale-up pajama and loungewear company that develops professional and sewing skills in women who have escaped from or are at high risk of being sex-trafficked.
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