Think of Tommy Hilfiger and the word ‘iconic’ springs to mind – in the truest sense of the word, not the sort that people coo whilst scrolling through the #nailsonfleek hashtag on Instagram. It’s the man, the logo and his eponymous jeans, pulled off with aplomb by an array of stars and beloved of musicians (it’s hard not to think of the great Aaliyah in her Tommy crop top). It’s All American to say the least.
And now, it’s Gigi. A new star shines in the Tommy galaxy: that of Gigi Hadid, supermodel for the social generation, ambitious blonde, and current Dazed cover star (watch her destroy the Dazed offices in style here). This season, the designer worked with the all-American heroine on a line for Tommy, imbuing her casual California style with a dose of East Coast, high fashion preppiness. After the roaring success of last Friday’s show, where the Tommy X Gigi collection was debuted, and the first where one could buy straight from the runway, some words of wisdom from Tommy on how to capture the brand’s aesthetic – one could call them lessons on becoming the Gigi, the Tommy, the GIGIXTOMMY girl.
1. Keep it in the Family
Tommy Hilfiger has always been about family – one look at their many ad campaigns, replete with multi-racial clans beaming from their front porch (and an array of happy looking, wealthy pet dogs) confirms this. It follows that they’d want to collaborate with someone who might as well be family. “I have known Gigi and her family for years and knew she would be the perfect ambassador for our women’s collections,” says Tommy. “When I approached her to collaborate, she was immediately on board. She has an incredible work ethic, a trend-setting sense of style, and a magnetic personality that’s truly inspiring.”
2. From Coast to Coast
Fashion, like hip hop, adheres to a strict code depending on what coast you’re on (honestly, I haven’t got a clue about what goes on down south). Things that define West Coast style include looking healthy, because you drink juice, and never dressing up – ever. East Coast style could be summarized as either looking like you just went to an exclusive boarding school, or you still teach at an exclusive boarding school (all black). Gigi obviously managed to bridge these differences and create something, well, all-American. “Gigi is a natural at designing, and we worked closely together on every element,” says Tommy. “Our inspirations came from our brand’s East Coast heritage fused with Gigi’s relaxed, laidback West Coast twist as a California girl.”
3. Pick a Theme and Run With it
Tommy Hilfiger shows are always an incredible experience – my favourites were one I will describe as alpine chic, replete with a small mountain range, and another which took its cue from a Jamaican beach. It’s just the thing you need after a week of sitting in art galleries looking at artful sacks – glamour, and a banging soundtrack, and fabulous full-on looks. This season was no exception to their commitment to a strong aesthetic, says Tommy. “This season we’ve taken our classic heritage and iconic pop culture inspirations – Americana, nautical, athletics, rock-and-roll – and given it all a modern-day refresh. The signature look is about proportion, fabrics, and unique details that pop. It’s nautical meets street, and inspired by, Gigi who’s style reflects the spirit of our brand: irreverent, optimistic and effortlessly cool.”
4. Also, Change it Up
I mean, designers don’t stay great by adhering to the same ideas forever. This was the first Tommy show that was #TOMMYNOW, which means that all their styles were available to consumers the minute they hit the runway (either through the computer or by shouting #TOMMYNOW in the mirror and spinning around three times – this might also be the recipe for turning oneself into a Hadid, can’t remember). Fashion week is more exciting than the average week, obviously, and non-industry people want to experience it too, thus Tommy invited 2,000 people to the show. “This is a natural progression of our approach to fusing fashion and entertainment, and making the full energy and excitement of NYFW directly accessible to our consumers globally. We’ll be able to reach new audiences in a new way, with styles available through retail, ecommerce and wholesale channels immediately as they premiere on the runway. It’s the next step in our long history of democratising the runway, and we look forward to seeing how our consumers respond.”
5. Encapsulate Your Design Process With a Genius Acronym
Basically this is genius and how I’m going to live my life from now on and you should too: F.A.M.E. “My biggest inspirations come from pop culture: fashion, art, music, and entertainment, which I summarize with the acronym F.A.M.E. I look at iconic pop culture moments from the past, present and future, and it’s always a fun process to think about how we can bring these ideas to life through fashion.” Thank you Tommy, we love you!