Thomas Jacob Hilfiger is the creative genius behind the billion-dollar ‘Tommy Hilfiger Corporation’. For over 25 years, his label has been a global success. He has launched clothing lines for men and women, as well as fragrances, sportswear, home furnishings, accessories, and denim. He went on to become one of the market’s wealthiest designers, catering to hip-hop artists and music industry heavyweights. His innovative and outspoken advertising campaigns aided in his establishment in the fashion industry. No other American designer of his generation succeeded in emblazoning their name and logo prominently on clothing the way he did. This attracted the attention of urban youth, and he quickly established a number of stores and franchises throughout the world. Hilfiger, who was born in Elmira, New York, demonstrated creative abilities as a teenager by purchasing jeans, remodeling them, and selling them. He began his career by opening his own store, ‘People’s Place,’ and following its success, he pursued a career as a full-fledged fashion designer.
Childhood & Adolescence
Tommy was born Thomas Jacob Hilfiger in Elmira, New York, on March 24, 1951, to jeweler Richard and nurse Virginia. He was the second child in a family of nine and was raised as a Catholic.
He received his education at New York’s Elmira Free Academy. He then transferred to the GST BOCES Bush Campus. Even as a teenager, he demonstrated his creative ability by purchasing jeans, remodeling them, and reselling them.
Career of Tommy
In 1969, at the age of approximately 18, he opened a store called ‘People’s Place’ where he sold hippie supplies such as perfumed incense, records, and bell-bottoms.
His hippie supply store, ‘People’s Place,’ quickly gained popularity, and he began designing for other boutiques. In 1979, he began pursuing a full-time career in fashion design.
In 1985, he launched his first signature collection with the assistance of a businessman named Mohan Murjani. Chinos, button-down shirts, and other classic fabrics were included in the collection.
In 1985, he hired George Lois, the legendary advertising man, to launch a successful marketing campaign. They unveiled a billboard in the heart of Times Square in New York.
In the 1990s, the hip-hop world embraced his designs, and Lenny Kravitz and Aaliyah appeared in his advertising campaigns. By this time, his designs had surpassed the $25 million mark.
He designed clothing for musician Snoop Doggy Dogg in 1992, during the latter’s appearance on the television show ‘Saturday Night Live’. He quickly became a household name, and other artists began wearing his designs.
In 1999, he was named one of the primary sponsors of singer Britney Spears and her debut concert tour, dubbed the ‘Baby One More Time Tour,’ in support of her self-titled debut album.
Around the year 2000, his professional success began to wane and he encountered financial difficulties. His designs began to lose popularity with hip-hop artists, and sales dropped by 75%.
He hosted and sponsored the show ‘The Cut’ in 2005. This gave the winning contestant the opportunity to work closely with him and co-create a designer collection.
As a result of declining sales, he sold his company to Apax Partners for $1.6 billion, or $16.80 per share, in 2006. He signed a deal with department store chain ‘Macy’s’ the following year.
In 2009, the company experimented with online marketing by launching www.hilfigerdenim.com. This website allows users to view the most up-to-date Hilfiger Denim collections.
Tommy Hilfiger Corporation was acquired by Phillips-Van Heusen, an American clothing company, for $3 billion in March 2010.
Significant Works of Tommy
He founded the ‘Tommy Hilfiger Corporation,’ a $6 billion retail clothing line as of 2009. As of 2009, the business was estimated to earn $ 1.5 billion in operating income and to have total assets of $ 8.7 billion.
Awards and Accomplishments
He was named ‘Menswear Designer of the Year’ by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1995. In 1998, he was named ‘Designer of the Year’ by the Parsons School of Design in New York City.
In 2006, he was presented with the Hispanic Federation’s Individual Achievement Award. He received the UNESCO Support Award and the Marie Claire Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, respectively.
Personal History and Legacies
He married Susie Alexandria Richard in 1980 and they had four children. In 2000, they divorced.
He married Dee Ocleppo in 2008. They share a son. He is a supporter of ‘the Breast Health International,’ a global organization dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer.
He founded The Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation in 1995 with the mission of improving the lives of youth through educational and cultural programs.
Estimated Net Worth
Tommy Hilfiger is a fashion designer based in the United States with a net worth of $450 million. He began his career in fashion at the age of 18, when he began purchasing jeans and customizing them to resell at a local store.
He later opened his own store, The People’s Place, and in 1985, with the support of the Murjani Group, he founded the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation.
This fashionista is the creative genius and mastermind behind the ‘Tommy Hilfiger Corporation,’ a billion-dollar enterprise.