NEW YORK — As news of Tommy Hilfiger’s split with his wife, Susie, spread over the weekend, Hilfiger told WWD that it’s an amicable separation.
“We’re still very good friends,” Hilfiger said.
On Friday, Tommy and Susie Hilfiger issued a statement: “After 20 years of marriage, we have mutually and amicably decided to separate.”
Observers said Susie, who runs her own business, may have gotten lost in the whole Hilfiger phenomenon and never felt comfortable in the limelight.
Susie owns a children’s store in Greenwich, Conn., called Best & Co., and plans to open a larger store next door, Hilfiger said.
The Hilfigers, who have known each other since they were teenagers, met when Susie took an after-school job at Hilfiger’s store, People’s Place, a hip boutique in Ithaca, N.Y. The store catered to the college campus crowd and sold bell-bottoms and candles. People’s Place, which began in Elmira, N.Y., was expanded to 10 locations throughout upstate New York by the time Hilfiger turned 26.
In 1979, Hilfiger sold his share of People’s Place, and he and Susie moved to New York, where they both initially took design jobs at Jordache Jeans; then Susie started O’Tokyo and Hilfiger started Click Point.
It wasn’t until 1985, when Hilfiger hooked up with Murjani International, that he began his own company. Three years later, Hilfiger joined forces with his current partners, Silas Chou and Lawrence Stroll, and began building what is today a $2 billion company.
The Hilfigers have four children.

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