In advance of his first ever See Now, Buy Now collection, designer Tommy Hilfiger sat down with Rosaleen McMeel, editor of IMAGE to talk about his brand's new direction, his collaboration with supermodel Gigi Hadid and his top tips for always dressing well.
Why do you think you've had such success in Ireland?
Our global success has come from defining a clear brand DNA and staying true to our heritage. Since I founded my brand in 1985 my inspiration has always remained rooted in ?classic American cool? and a vision to reinvent the classics with a fresh, youthful twist.
Gigi Hadid, the brand ambassador and co-designer of Tommy Hilfiger's TommyxGigi collection
What is it about Gigi that made you choose her as your collaborator and ambassador?
I have known Gigi and her family for years and knew she would be the perfect ambassador for our women's collections. 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.
Models showcased the new Tommy Hilfiger See Now, Buy Now collection on Pier 16, renamed "Tommy Pier" for the occasion.?
She's an all-American girl. Do you think she'll appeal as strongly to the European market as she does the US?
Gigi is a California girl at heart, but her incredible appeal resonates globally. I find it very inspiring how she's used social media as a platform to connect with her fans worldwide.
Gigi Hadid pictured behind the scenes at the TommyxGigi collection
How did Gigi bring a twist to the classic Tommy Hilfiger aesthetic?
Gigi Hadid is the perfect example of the modern ?Tommy Girl.? Her personality is bright and optimistic, and her style is confident, effortless and cool. She characterises the laidback, youthful all-American spirit that's at the heart of our brand.
A design sketch of the military-inspired coat in the TommyxGigi collection
How did it feel to have someone new involved in the design process?
Gigi is a natural at designing, and we worked closely together on every element. Our inspirations came from our brand's East Coast heritage fused with Gigi's relaxed, laidback West Coast approach to style.
You've spoken before about your desire to democratise the fashion industry. How is the Tommy Hilfiger brand doing this?
#TOMMYNOW is the ultimate expression of my brand philosophy, and the show I have always wanted to present. We are a brand that breaks conventions, puts the consumer at the heart of our business, and believes in creating fun, inspiring experiences that fuse fashion and entertainment. We made the whole show a ?See Now. Have Now? experience that was open to consumers, and every style was available to purchase immediately the moment it hit the runway.
What does Tommy Hilfiger offer modern women that other brands don't?
It has always been my vision to celebrate individuality and inspire our consumers. Our womenswear collections celebrate stylish classics with a playful fashion edge, and we love seeing how our consumers around the world add their own unique twist to our designs.
Nautical is a strong thread that runs through your collections. Why this theme and what does it offer women?
I've always been inspired by iconic Americana and nautical styles from the East Coast. There are so many different ways to wear these versatile pieces and style them in your own way.
What's the most important style rule a woman should remember when she gets dressed in the morning?
Dress with confidence, and stick to the classics. After more than 40 years in this industry, I've found that classic style has an enduring quality that always outlasts the trends.
For more on the TommyxGigi Collection, check out the November issue of IMAGE Magazine. On sale now.