Tommy Hilfiger’s Homecoming

·7 min read

It’s been three years since Tommy Hilfiger debuted a collection in New York City. On a rainy Sunday evening in Brooklyn, the designer marked his homecoming with a spectacle staged at the Skyline Drive-in, which was transformed into an amalgamation of past, present and future clashes of culture, art, music and fashion a la a deconstructed “Tommy Factory” artistic space designed to resemble the iconic Warhol Factory in a debut partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation.

A look from the Tommy Hilfiger RTW Fall 2022 collection.
A look from the Tommy Hilfiger fall 2022 collection.

“In the early ‘80s, when I met Andy [Warhol], he invited me to his Factory. I was so inspired by his love for pop culture. He brought what I call fame, fashion, art, music, entertainment and celebrity all together, and I thought, OK, this is genius — this is true pop culture, and this is what I want to be inspired by for my entire brand. Thirty-seven, 38 years later, that has stayed with me,” Hilfiger said during a preview, adding he would frequent the Factory, oftentimes running into the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Lou Reed, Hollywood stars and athletes, Sir Elton John and the Kennedys while surrounded by the artist’s drying paintings, scattered over the floors.

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“I’ve always been inspired by Andy — I collect Warhol now — I was inspired mostly by his affinity for pop culture. I’ve always connected the [Tommy Hilfiger] brand to music and musicians, but in the last 20-some years, I expanded beyond that into fashion, art, music, entertainment, Hollywood, sports, celebrity and influencers, and that has kept my brand very relevant and very youthful.”

Like his friend Warhol, Hilfiger continued to tap into pop culture in a big way with his massive see now, buy now fall show, while paying homage to the artist through his venue.

A look from the Tommy Hilfiger RTW Fall 2022 collection.
A look from the Tommy Hilfiger fall 2022 collection.

“This is where the brand started — we’ve been around the world with see now, buy now fashion shows successfully. So we thought, OK, well, we have to come back to New York and do it,” the designer said of his New York Fashion Week return. “We’re doing probably the largest show we’ve ever done. We usually have 40 models — we have over 80 now, and we have amazing music and an amazing setting. We’re really going to provide VIPs with a glimpse of the making of a show because I think a lot of people really don’t know how a show is put together, so we’re giving them a sneak peek of how a show was put together,” he added of the large-scale space.

Spray-painted graffiti and posters of his fall collection’s red-, white- and blue-lensed campaign were pasted onto the walls leading into a large, “Making of a Fashion Show” building that allowed guests to get an insider’s into the show’s backstage hair and makeup. Like Warhol’s Factory, the walls were covered in silver foil; outside, there were Warhol-esque art installations of silver-foil-covered furniture and Hilfiger-branded soda cans, silver bubbled balloons and staff dressed to look like the artist, complete with wigs resembling his signature chopped white hair, black framed glasses and all-black turtleneck fashions. There were even stations of screen-printed Pop Art portrait posters and custom graffiti T-shirts.

“We already have a great relationship,” Hilfiger said of his partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation. “For spring, we have a whole collection coming out and next fall we are planning another one.”

To design the fall collection, Hilfiger tapped into his vast 20,000-square-foot archive to remix his prepster classics for the modern day. “Over the years, we’ve been always rooted in our DNA, which is preppy, but I always wanted preppy to be cool, so I wanted it to be sometimes right on the edge,” he explained. “Preppy surf, preppy skate, preppy collegiate, preppy punk, preppy hip-hop. I always wanted it to always go back to my preppy collegiate roots, but I wanted to push the envelope to make it cool and relevant for the time,” he explained, adding that his new Tommy Hilfiger monogram, designed in partnership with British illustrator and graphic designer Fergus Purcell, was a key design point of the collection.

During an exclusive preview with WWD, just hours before showtime, the designer previewed four looks that embodied the ideas. There was a sleek, royal blue jacquard monogram women’s suit; an embroidered, classic monogram sweater (noted to be a new take on the famed H-monogram cream jumper worn by Michael Jackson for Vibe magazine in the ’90s) with athletic joggers; an elongated striped rugby polo over a denim button-up and red pleated skirt, and a head-to-toe, graphic navy and white double-breasted suit that boasted Hilfiger’s monogram, remixed with British designer Richard Quinn’s signature daisy motifs — one of his exclusive, limited-edition 40-piece collaboration with the designer. Each look was topped off with matching monogrammed accessories — bags, both big and small; footwear; a baseball cap; gloves, and knit scarves. Later on the runway, Hilfiger provided a strong assortment of remixed classics with plenty of monogram mania.

Hilfiger’s fall campaign “Futuremakers,” was also brought into the fold with the likes of Grammy-winning artist, Golden Globe- and Emmy-nominated actor Anthony Ramos; multi-Grammy Award-winning recording artist, songwriter and composer Jon Batiste; Wigstock drag legend Lady Bunny; tattoo artist Steve Wiebe, and Kate Moss sitting front row (alongside other notable celebrities including Kourtney Kardashian Barker, Kris Jenner, Shawn Mendes, John Legend and many more) while Moss’ daughter, Lila Moss, walked the runway alongside Alton Mason; Travis Barker, drummer of Blink 182 and producer, ended the show with a literal bang — closing out the show with a drumset.

Hilfiger’s campaign, which was said to be shot in the Bronx in a big factory — a continuation of the Warhol Factory-inspired Tommy’s Factory — is now being launched globally.

“Mr. Brainwash is our artist in residence, painting our backdrops and painting flags and doing graffiti on the walls. We had a party, basically, that became the ad campaign, with Kate Moss dancing with Lady Bunny; Jon Batiste jamming with Travis Scott; Steve Wiebe, the tattoo artist who does all the NBA players and all the rappers, tattooing Travis. So it’s really life, but behind the scenes at a fashion shoot that really turned into what you could call a post-COVID[-19] party,” Hilfiger said of the campaign.

But that’s not all. The Tommy Factory experience was launched into the metaverse, debuting as the first fashion show to livestream on the Roblox global platform.

“This will be our third collaboration with Roblox, but it’s going to a new level because we have a whole game based upon Tommy Hilfiger in New York City, so that is going to be playing worldwide to their millions of streamers and millions of gamers at the same time, the digital skins are going to be shown physically on the runway. They’re going to be showing physical and digital — we call it phygital,” he explained.

“Even with see now, buy now, we wanted to be ahead of the industry, we wanted to be ahead in terms of technology and what’s going on in the digital world, so we’ve streamed our shows, we’ve done the see now, buy now, click-and-buy, livestream shopping and through that if we were to live in the metaverse, which is where the customer is headed, we should embrace it and show it to the fans and the public the way it’s really going to work. Because a lot of people don’t understand it — and what it really is is a clash between the new and the modern.”

Launch Gallery: Tommy Hilfiger RTW Fall 2022

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