A boy and twenty pairs of jeans. Thus was born a large company and an American fashion brand that is making history in the world, despite some considerable difficulties. Because the biography of the designer Tommy Hilfiger is not just the story of a man, but a real adventure novel. The story of those who believed in their abilities and in the instinct of art that he had in his hands.

An American brand that imposes itself not only with the quality of the clothes, but also with the inspiration of its founder, who does not disdain television confrontations, political clashes and other manifestations of a very strong personality, which attracts to himself. Life has not always been golden for this family, however, it is the beauty that is worn by sporting this name imprinted on every dress that makes the difference. And beauty always wins, against everything and everyone.

Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger: a boy and twenty pairs of jeans

Thomas Jacob Hilfiger, or simply Tommy Hilfiger,  was born on March 24, 1951 in a small town, Elmira, not too far from New York City. His large family (second of 9 children!) He has Irish origins and determination runs in the blood and DNA of the family by nature.

Thomas, or Tommy as everyone calls him, and still in high school when – with a base of only $ 150 and twenty pairs of jeans – he starts a small retail business with friends that quickly earns him some money.

Following his commercial flair and artistic passion, as soon as he graduated he began working for a large atelier in the center called Brown’s, a branch of a New York City store. First as a simple salesman, then as a stylist, Tommy Hilfiger soon made a name for himself. In fact , nine other New York stores want his designs and his clothes are starting to take shape. Especially his customers’ favorites are flared trousers.

He opens his first shop in the center of his Elmira, which he calls People’s Place,  which has become famous as it hosts DJ Contest, live music, thus becoming in a short time a cult shop where you can go even without buying anything. But after a while, the opening of a nearby shopping mall marks the end of his first business venture and the closure of his shop.

Logo Tommy Hilfiger su jeans

Calvin Klein, the first fashion show and the importance of advertising

Soon his skill also hit famous names in American fashion. Calvin Klein and Perry Ellis request your input from her. In 1985 she manages to break through and presents her very first personal collection in New York and it is an immediate success, throughout America and around the world.

But the designer Tommy Hilfiger, in addition to being a great professional, has a flair for marketing and advertising. And here he devises a brilliant stratagem to present his collection. In fact, for his campaign, which later became iconic and entered the history of advertising, he chooses one of the American marketing stars of the time, George Lois , who publishes a billboard made in Times Square that depicts a riddle, which is the following:


The last of course is him, Tommy Hilfiger!

The ad, which cost over $ 160,000 at the time, paid off. Now the world is noticing the American designer, who becomes one of the most successful in the whole globe.

Until 2000 his clothes, and especially his jeans, drove all young people on the planet crazy, the name became a famous brand and money and success created a golden aura around the designer. But also some financial problems. Between 2001 and 2006, business and personal problems slow down production and the brand loses its bite on the market.

Tommy Hilfiger ad an event

Lo stile Tommy Hilfiger

What is Tommy Hilfiger’s style? 

The strong point of its collections are the red, white and blue colors, which are also those of the logo, and the indispensable preppy style , still very popular among young Americans, especially the rich and high-ranking ones.

Tommy Hilfiger oggi

Married to Dee, he has four children including one, Rich, and a fast-growing hip hop singer . But the company has never recovered from the decline of the early 2000s. Hilfiger had to sell twice: the first, to Apax Partners, the second to Phillips Van Heusen, owner of Calvin Klein. Despite little personal luck, Tommy Hilfiger is still a name he sells today. 

Today, in addition to jeans and men’s fashion, which remain its specialties, the company also carries on women’s fashion, sportswear, a line of perfumes, knitwear and sweatshirts much appreciated by the very young, launching in 2018 a capsule collection with the super model Gigi Hadid , in Navy style , which have raised the fortunes of the brand.

The sponsorships with some Formula 1 teams, including Ferrari, and with the driver Lewis Hamilton, have always kept the prestige of the brand high in the world.

Tommy Hilfiger’s new fashion designer: #TommyNow on social media

By launching into the world of social media and digital, the brand too has had to adapt to global change. Selling, and doing it online is an art, which he understood very well. And here is the inauguration of a new way of selling: doing it live on social media! And so, while you are on the catwalk to launch a new collection, titled with the hashtag #TommyNow, whose motto is “see now, buy now”, if the customer notices a dress he likes, he can buy it live while it is parading . Needless to say: live social selling immediately spread like wildfire and is repeated today by other brands.