Tommy Hilfiger, which is owned by PVH Corp., has selected five finalists for the 2022 Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge, who were chosen out of 259 applicants from global startups to scale-ups.
The program’s fourth edition aims to amplify historically marginalized entrepreneurs who are all striving to advance their communities by building a more inclusive fashion industry.
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The finalists were evaluated on such criteria as potential social impact and market growth. Last month, each finalist presented their most pressing business challenge and collaborated with experts to develop practical solutions over the course of a week. In the program’s final phase, the five finalists will pitch their business concepts to a jury panel consisting of business and sustainability leaders, including Tommy Hilfiger and activist Halima Aden, as well as Martijn Hagman, chief executive officer of Tommy Hilfiger, Global and PVH Europe; Esther Verburg, executive vice president, sustainable business and Innovation, Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe; Adrian Johnson, media entrepreneur, adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at INSEAD; Katrin Ley, managing director, Fashion for Good, and Yvonne Bajela, investment partner and board member.
The Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge finale takes place Feb. 9.
“As we move into the fourth edition of Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge, we know that there is still more work to be done to achieve diverse representation and inclusion in fashion,” Hilfiger said. “When we come together in collaboration, we spark an important catalyst for change — and only together can we foster this long-lasting impact. We’re committed to using our platform to give emerging talent a voice so the industry as a whole can evolve how we think, build and create.”
The five finalists are Care + Wear, a New York-based healthwear company that bridges the gap between fashion and function by creating adaptive and accessible clothing, recovery bras, patient gowns and scrubs for people to feel more human while in the hospital; IDA Sports, a British company designing footwear and soccer cleats specifically for female athletes; Koalaa, a British initiative engineering comfortable, affordable, soft upper limb prosthetics made like clothes for people of all ages; Tactus, a Dutch American tech brand developing and producing smart clothing that translates music into vibrations for the Deaf community, and Moner Bondhu, a start-up founded in Bangladesh that provides accessible and affordable mental health and well-being services through professional counseling, workshops and training to all, especially garment factory workers, women and youth.
A 200,000 euro award will be divided between the top two winners to support their ventures. The two winners will also receive receive a yearlong mentorship opportunity with Tommy Hilfiger and INSEAD experts, and a place in an INSEAD course. An additional 15,000 euros will be awarded to the finalist who Tommy Hilfiger associates vote as their “Audience Favorite.”
“Supporting and working with communities that drive positive change and innovation within the fashion industry remains one of our top priorities,” Hagman said. “Driving change is part of our brand DNA. With every new edition, the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge reaffirms our commitment to amplifying the work of incredible entrepreneurs who can play a critical role in our journey toward creating a better fashion industry.”