Tommy Hilfiger – Fall Winter 2017_2018
Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger was born on March 24, 1951, in New York. Hilfiger has built his brand, using his signature red, white and blue tag, which has become popular among the upper class and the casual buyer. Before making his immensely popular product, he opened several stores in the ’70s. It wasn’t until 1984, when he was approached to design a men’s sportswear line with his name that he took off into the stratosphere of fame and fashion.
Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger was born on March 24, 1951, in Elmira, New York, the second of nine children in a working class Irish-American family. His mother, Virginia, worked as a nurse, while dad Richard made watches at a local jewelry store. Tommy Hilfiger attended Elmira Free Academy in high school, where he was neither a star athlete (he was so small, he had to sneak 15-pound weights in his pockets to get on the football team) or student (he suffered from undiagnosed dyslexia).
First Entrepreneurial Venture
Hilfiger’s entrepreneurial gifts, however, were evident from a young age. As a teenager, he began buying jeans in New York City that he remade and sold for a markup in Elmira. When he was 18, he opened a store called The People’s Place in Elmira that sold hippie supplies like bell-bottoms, incense and records. Wildly successful at first-Hilfiger soon had a chain of stores and a six-figure income-a downturn in the economy hit his business hard, and he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1977.
In 1976, Hilfiger fell in love with Susie Carona, an employee at one of his stores. The couple married and moved to Manhattan shortly after the bankruptcy. They were hired as a husband-and-wife design team by the apparel brand Jordache, but were fired after only a year. Hilfiger developed a reputation as a hard-working young designer, and was considered for jobs at Perry Ellis and Calvin Klein. What he really wanted, however, was his own label.