For the second year, Tommy Hilfiger, which is owned by PVH Corp., will start accepting applications for the New Legacy Challenge, a design competition developed through a partnership between Hilfiger’s People’s Place Program and Harlem’s Fashion Row.
The New Legacy Challenge, which launched in 2021, aims to support emerging Black talent on a global scale and offer a platform for foundational change. The challenge highlights the history and contributions of Black communities to fashion and celebrates the voices of a new generation of Black designers.
“The New Legacy Challenge is rooted in our commitment to champion diverse talent and spotlight a historically underrepresented community,” said Tommy Hilfiger. “Season one was encouraging and inspiring — finalists Clarence Ruth, Megan Smith and Johnathan Hayden’s ideas and designs truly are what fashion is about. Launching the second annual competition marks another meaningful milestone as we amplify the creativity of emerging Black designers.”
The New Legacy Challenge 2.0 application process will open Monday and runs through Dec. 14. Designers are invited to apply to the eight-month program, which includes mentorship opportunities and visibility to professional and industry leaders. Finalists selected to participate in the challenge will be paired with a Tommy Hilfiger mentor and recreate iconic prep styles for their final collection. The winner of the challenge will receive a grant of $25,000 and the opportunity to codesign a capsule collection alongside the Tommy Hilfiger design team.
The challenge is open to people who have been designing and selling clothing under their own brand for a minimum of two years. They must be a legal resident of one of the the 50 states in the U.S, Washington, D.C., or the United Kingdom.
“This is an open call to all Black designers out there who have ever dreamed of representation for, and acknowledgment of, their work. Show up, be heard, and let your authentic vision shine,” said Randy Cousin, senior vice president of the People’s Place Program and head of Tommy Hilfiger Lab, Tommy Hilfiger Global. “We created this platform to lead this charge and now is your time to join us on this journey. We know the talent you possess; we want the rest of the world to see it.”
Ruth, the sole winner of the 2022 New Legacy Challenge, said: “Accepting this award was not only a major win for my brand and me but also for Black and Brown talent as a whole. This challenge is an invitation for more Black and Brown artists to see a place for us in the creative world and beyond.”
Throughout the challenge Ruth worked with Hilfiger mentor Urs Graber, vice president, design at Tommy Jeans Global, to create six classic prep styles with his own spin. He then brought what he learned to his own label, Cotte D’Armes, and explored denim from a fresh vantage point. He fused military with a hint of streetwear and biker across his denim-based collection of bottoms, tops and outerwear.
“It’s always a great privilege for us to partner with global leaders in the fashion world who share the same vision of rising above pipeline issues of diversity and inclusion in the industry by investing our time, energy and resources in the next generation of Black fashion icons. I’m inspired by the commitment of the People’s Place Program and honored to usher in more designers of color into the New Legacy Challenge,” said Brandice Daniel, founder of Harlem’s Fashion Row.