NEW YORK — Andy Hilfiger is going back to his brother.
Hilfiger, the co-founder and a partner in Sweetface Fashion Co., which produces the JLo by Jennifer Lopez and Sweetface collections, will relinquish his day-to-day role at the firm to rejoin his brother, Tommy Hilfiger, as senior vice president of music and entertainment at Tommy Hilfiger Co., a new post.
Andy Hilfiger will still be a partner at Sweetface and will remain an active member of its board.
Andy Hilfiger was vice president of public relations at Tommy Jeans from 1992 to 2001. He is credited with laying the groundwork for Tommy Hilfiger’s connections to the hip-hop and rock ‘n’ roll worlds, and was the force behind many of the biggest rap and rock stars wearing Hilfiger’s clothing, such as Snoop Dog, Salt-N-Pepa, Eve, Lil’ Kim and TLC. He collaborated with Britney Spears and The Who, dressed the Rolling Stones when Hilfiger sponsored the band’s “No Security” tour and featured up-and-coming musicians in the company’s ad campaigns.
Andy Hilfiger, who rejoins Hilfiger today, will be based here at 601 West 26th Street and reports to Avery Baker, executive vice president of global communications.
In a telephone interview Tuesday, Andy Hilfiger told WWD, “I want to blend music, entertainment and fashion and form strategic alliances with other companies, films and sports. This will really help the brand bring a lot of that energy back.
“Tommy and I work great together,” he added. “They always need newness, and they need to be involved in pop culture.”
Tommy Hilfiger added, “For 10 years, Andy was responsible for many of the company’s breakthrough initiatives combining the worlds of music and fashion. His wealth of knowledge and constant enthusiasm will be a vital contribution to the new era of our company.”
Last month, Tommy Hilfiger Co. was acquired by funds advised by Apax Partners for $1.6 billion. Fred Gehring, the former head of Hilfiger’s European operations, took over as global chief executive officer of Hilfiger, and is currently reorganizing the business in order to restore the position of the Hilfiger brand in the U.S. The $1.7 billion apparel company has scaled back its U.S. management and corporate infrastructure based in New York and New Jersey, consolidated management responsibilities in its U.S. wholesale business and eliminated some U.S. back-office functions.
Although he no longer will be involved in day-to-day operations at Sweetface, Andy Hilfiger said he plans to remain an active member of the board and to be involved in all major policy decisions and company direction.
In April 2001, Andy Hilfiger established Music Entertainment Fashion Inc., a holding company for Sweetface Fashion Co., a joint venture with Jennifer Lopez. Today, apparel, accessories and fragrances under the Lopez umbrella generate $200 million in wholesale volume. Of that, $140 million in wholesale volume is achieved by Lopez’s fragrances, and $60 million in wholesale volume is garnered by the JLo by Jennifer Lopez junior sportswear line, footwear, outerwear, watches, jewelry and lingerie and the Sweetface contemporary collection, according to Hilfiger.
Andy Hilfiger assumed the role of president of Sweetface Fashion following the departure of Denise Seegal, who became president and ceo of Nautica, in August 2004. Last month, he relinquished the president’s role to Andrea Scoli, former vice president and general manager of Enyce, a division of Liz Claiborne Inc. Scoli reports to the Sweetface board, consisting of Lopez, Hilfiger, Simon Fields and Joe Lamastra.
“My main thing is the p.r., marketing, grassroots [initiatives] and celebrities,” said Andy Hilfiger. “We brought in someone to run this company, a real merchant. My strength is in the fun stuff.”