Tommy Hilfiger’s look for fall 2024 is money.
He said “see ya” to see now, buy now for fall 2024, repositioning his womenswear in a more luxury context: Grand Central Oyster Bar, with his newest ambassador Sofia Richie Grainge front and center.
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“The idea is we are elevating,” Hilfiger said during a preview of Friday’s show, titled “New York Minute.” “We are doing everything from tailoring to casual and in between, but definitely more sophisticated. The shapes are more modern. The fabrics are sourced in Italy. The DNA is still attached to the brand but it’s done in a very new way.”
The American designer has always had a knack for reading the fashion-pop culture zeitgeist, with a key focus in recent years on democratizing fashion. He tapped Gigi Hadid for an immersive, Instagrammable carnival near South Street Seaport in 2016 and staged a ’70s-inspired show codesigned by Zendaya in Paris in 2019. He hitched a ride to Lewis Hamilton and Formula 1’s rising popularity for a Tommy Jeans collaboration in 2020, and has been bullish about selling in-season styles right off the runway all the way up to September 2022, when he staged a “Tommy Factory” at Brooklyn’s Skyline Drive-in to launch a collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation.
This season, he’s read the culture once again, and people want to be — or at least look — rich.
A recent Intuit Credit Karma study found both Gen Z — born between 1996 and 2012 — and Millennials —born 1981 to 1996 — noted an overall obsession with becoming rich, a feeling amplified by social media, where Grainge’s 2023 wedding, a quiet luxury marketing juggernaut, transfixed viewers and gained her 2 million followers.
“If you look at the prices in the luxury market, they’re unattainable, and they can get away with it because of their customer base,” Hilfiger said. “So we want to give them affordable luxury and the best premium product out there…something that they can have forever — timeless classics with a modern twist.”
Hilfiger’s and Grainge’s two-year collaboration will culminate in codesigned collections and curations starting in the summer.
“We really believe in her as being in the middle of the zeitgeist,” he said.
Big picture, Hilfiger’s men’s business has always outpaced women’s “but ultimately, it should be the opposite. And in Europe, we’ve gotten a lot of traction on women’s,” he said, explaining that while he used to have separate design teams in New York and Europe for women’s, now the entire team is based in Europe.
The elevated look translated to classic tweed suits and wool melton peacoats, camel coats, varsity jackets, pleated or wide wale corduroy miniskirts, and Hilfiger’s OG take on sporty prep, with plenty of rugby shirts, polo shirts, high-waist khaki pants, mariner and repp stripes, which European brands like Dries Van Noten, Gucci and Miu Miu have already sent down the runway in anticipation of the Paris Summer Olympics.
“We are seeing a resurgence of cardigans.…We reinvented the chino, making it very high waisted and full cut…we already have these high-waisted looks in denim, we can’t keep them in stock,” he said.
“The idea is a lot of this is made in a way that needs more time, because of the tailoring and the Italian-sourced fabrics,” he said of shifting back to showing on the traditional fashion calendar.
Those missing see now, buy now could see and shop the latest Tommy Hilfiger pieces modeled by front-row guests Grainge, Damson Idris and rapper Grand Puba, who Hilfiger worked with early on in his fashion career. The pieces are all on the designer’s e-commerce website.
Owner PVH Corp. is banking on Hilfiger’s shift in strategy. While the group saw moderate declines midyear, Tommy Hilfiger picked up momentum in December with its “brand heat” on social media up 34 percent from a year earlier. Grainge should juice that in a New York minute.
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