The founder of the American legacy brand reflects on the impact of those rumors and his brand’s rise as a staple of streetwear.
If you’re of a certain age, you may recall a rumor that began in the late ‘90s about Tommy Hilfiger — specfically, that the designer appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and claimed he didn’t make his clothes for Black, Jewish, or Asian people.
This rumor has repeatedly been hilfiger-fashion-not-intended-minorities” data-ylk=”slk:proved;elm:context_link;itc:0″ class=”link rapid-noclick-resp”proved to be absolutely false, but what is true is how much Hilfiger appreciates that his brand has come to represent the intersection between aspirational luxury and streetwear in American culture.
As he launches his new Classics Reborn line, the legendary American designer reflects on the legacy of his brand, including the impact of that racist urban legend, in a recent interview with tommy-hilfiger-interview-fashion-brand-history” data-ylk=”slk:The Guardian;elm:context_link;itc:0″ class=”link rapid-noclick-resp”The Guardian. Hilfiger discusses his brand’s start in the late ‘80s and how times may have changed in the decades since, but what his brand represents has not.
As a brand, Tommy Hilfiger simultaneously evokes youthful American preppydom and hip-hop culture. The brand began in earnest competition with fellow legacy brand Ralph Lauren, synonymous with American luxury, until it blossomed into streetwear. Hilfiger credits his brand’s rise to the most popular American brand of the ‘90s with its ability to hold space between those two seemingly disparate aesthetics that buzzy campaigns starring the late singer Aaliyah and other hip-hop and R&B icons of the era best exemplify.
“It was a perfect storm. I was dressing Puff Daddy for his tours. I was dressing Biggie Smalls. I was dressing