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Growing up in Elmira, New York, as one of nine children, Tommy Hilfiger could never have imagined the success he would later achieve. In 1969, the 18-year-old Hilfiger began customizing bell-bottoms and selling candles, incense and clothing at his own store, People’s Place, in downtown Elmira. But by age 23, he had to declare bankruptcy.
Not only did that painful experience teach him about the intricacies of business, but it motivated him not to fail again. He parlayed his talent into several design jobs before teaming with Mohan Murjani to create a “classics with a twist” menswear collection under the Tommy Hilfiger name in 1985. The fashion business was acquired in 1989 by Silas Chou and Lawrence Stroll, expanded into new categories, and the company went public in 1992. Years later, under new management, it was taken private in 2006 with Apax Partners for $1.6 billion.
Today, Hilfiger’s global lifestyle company, which was acquired by PVH Corp. in 2010 for $3 billion, generates $9.3 billion in global retail sales from products that encompass men’s, women’s and childrenswear, jeans, accessories, footwear, fragrances and the home.
Hilfiger is this year’s recipient of WWD’s John B. Fairchild Honor, which recognizes a career of influence and distinction in the fashion industry. Named after WWD’s late chairman and editorial director and chosen by its current editors, the honor was introduced in 2016 as part of WWD’s annual celebration of creative vision, performance and leadership in the fashion industry. Hilfiger joins such distinguished industry leaders as Ralph Lauren, Karl Lagerfeld, Leonard Lauder, Giorgio Armani and Miuccia Prada in receiving this honor for lifetime achievement.
What’s unique about the 71-year-old Hilfiger is how he’s been able to maintain his relevance in a fashion business that’s constantly changing. The celebrity connection has always been instrumental to the Hilfiger brand, which has featured celebrities such as David Bowie and Iman, Britney Spears, Mark Ronson, Usher, Beyoncé and Enrique Iglesias in its ad campaigns. Hilfiger has also sponsored concerts and dressed stars such as The Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz and Jewel. More recently, Hilfiger has done successful design collaborations with Gigi Hadid, Zendaya, Lewis Hamilton and Richard Quinn.
His see now, buy now fashion extravaganzas transported the brand to such cities as Milan, Paris, London, Los Angeles, Shanghai and New York. The brand continues to innovate with initiatives such as 3D design, artificial intelligence, gaming, digital showrooms, sustainability and diversity initiatives.
“Tommy has had extraordinary longevity…because he’s worked hard to keep his brand relevant by reinventing himself many times over to appeal to his core customer base. He has evolved with his customer again and again, which is critically important but never easy…especially in the fashion industry,” said Terry Lundgren, former chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s Inc., which had a successful exclusive partnership with Hilfiger from 2008 to 2018.
“This great quality of Tommy, humility, has never faltered,” said Murjani, Hilfiger’s original backer. “During his highs and lows, Tommy has always been the same — humble, kind, loving and giving. His unwavering quality of always being himself and always open to learning and absorbing the changing world has greatly helped the brand stay true, authentic, consistent, updated and relevant.”
Here, Hilfiger discusses the John B. Fairchild Honor, how meaningful it is to him, and what it took to build the company.
WWD: How do you feel about winning the John B. Fairchild Honor?
Tommy Hilfiger: It is such an honor. I found it hard to believe myself when I received the call. To be part of that group is truly not only an honor but almost unbelievable to me.
WWD: Did you ever meet John Fairchild?
T.H.: Yes, it was one of the most intimidating lunches I ever had with Michael Coady, Patrick McCarthy [both former editors in chief of WWD] and John Fairchild at La Grenouille. They were hilarious, they were telling me stores about Yves Saint Laurent, and Dior and Cardin and all these iconic designers, and how John knew them personally and he had funny stories about each one of them.
WWD: In what ways has the industry changed since you started?
T.H.: When I first started, Louis Vuitton sold handbags and luggage, and a few small leather goods, Gucci was in the handbag and shoe business with some leather goods, Prada just had handbags. Nobody had ever heard of Zara, Uniqlo and H&M. The Gap sold Levi’s and the competition was far and few between. Now we have the very high end and we have the fast-fashion kingdom. It was very different. There were big players like Ralph [Lauren], Calvin [Klein] and Perry Ellis I continually watched. Halston was still going strong, [Geoffrey] Beene, [Bill] Blass, Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta. Willi Smith was very strong. He was one of my main competitors at the beginning.
WWD: Did you have a goal to become an international designer?
T.H.: I wasn’t thinking about being an international designer. I was thinking of being a successful menswear designer in America. As time went on, we started thinking about expanding the business, and first expanded into women’s and then children’s and licensing fragrances and other products. After meeting Silas Chou and Lawrence Stroll, we decided to expand internationally. We first went to London, and we were the first license Lauder ever signed. Estée didn’t believe in having licenses. Leonard [Lauder] signed the license with us. He started expanding the fragrance business internationally, and we would follow the launches into London, Paris and Milan and other cities. As we started expanding internationally, our goal was to expand the entire brand into a global lifestyle brand.
WWD: But let’s go back to the beginning — how did you meet Mohan Murjani?
T.H.: Mohan believed in me first. He backed me in the very beginning. I met his family in Hong Kong and they introduced me. Mohan was a believer and a visionary in his own right with Gloria Vanderbilt. He asked me if I would design the Coca-Cola line at the same time we were developing Tommy Hilfiger. It was fun. It was a big success, but I had my eyes on becoming a lifestyle brand. I wanted to go into other product categories. I wanted to be in childrenswear, I wanted to be in footwear. I wanted to be in jeanswear and sport. We formed a new partnership with Silas [Chou], Joel [Horowitz] and Lawrence [Stroll]. Lawrence had the European experience, Silas had the manufacturing expertise and Joel was the rock who really ran the entire business. We built a road map and spent hours and hours of creating this road map of what we do next and what we do next.
WWD: You were never content with just being a great menswear designer?
T.H.: I wanted to be a global lifestyle brand. I still do. I wanted to add more in home, more in beauty, more in wellness. I think brand extensions are so important if they’re done properly with a direct connection to the DNA.
WWD: Are there still categories you want to get into?
T.H.: Beauty is a big one. We have fragrances. The next will be cosmetics and beauty. The license is no longer with Lauder. It’s with GBB, Give Back Beauty, out of Milan. It switched in January 2022, after Lauder decided to get out of the [licensed] fragrance business, so Michael Kors, Vera [Wang], Tory [Burch], all of us were out finding new licenses. We’re going to be launching new fragrances soon and we will continue some, too. We’re also going to evolve into beauty and cosmetics. We’ll do a refresh on Tommy and Tommy Girl because they are our core fragrances. I would like to expand [more] in home and accessories. The footwear and accessories business has been fantastic for us, and we’d like to expand in that overall category.
WWD: Do you think it would be possible for a designer today to build the type of company that you have built?
T.H.: I think it is, it would have to be done in a different way, because of the metaverse, and because of digital and because of e-commerce. And the way people shop today and the way you have to speak to consumers today.
WWD: How have you been able to segue the business to be relevant in all those areas?
T.H.: It’s continually refreshing, reinventing and looking into what is next, and looking at the future. Even when we did the see now, buy now fashion shows, people were very skeptical. Somehow we figured it out and have to give credit to our amazing team. Avery Baker, our president and chief brand officer, was really leading the charge and the team made it happen.
WWD: Why does see now, buy now work for you but hardly worked for anybody else?
T.H.: You just can’t do it part way. You have to be 100 percent in. We had to offer everything on the runway for sale immediately, we couldn’t just have a few items. That’s not fully committed. We made sure a majority of the product on the runway was available immediately. We also think a more youthful customer is in need of instant gratification, so they want to buy it and wear it the next day. I think it’s antiquated to think that people really will wait for something six months later. I think after they see it on social media, and on celebrities, by the time it reaches the selling floor in most stores, it’s not exciting anymore.
WWD: So you had to reengineer the entire company to accommodate see now, buy now?
T.H.: We did. The entire design, production, planning, fabric planning, everything.…It’s just for the show. But what we need to do is meet the consumer where they live today. Back in the showroom, they’re seeing spring. It’s a big marketing thing, but it works. Now that we’re living in the metaverse, we’re selling digital things within the games, such as Roblox, we call it “phygital,” where they’re buying physical and digital for their avatars.
WWD: Looking back, what were some of the high points and some of the low points of your career?
T.H.: It was a high point being backed by Murjani in the beginning. I had had some starts and stops in trying to develop my own brand. When Murjani sold Gloria Vanderbilt and decided to restructure, the partnership with Lawrence Stroll, Silas Chou and Joel Horowitz was a game changer. We took the company public, which was another highlight. We began to sign really important licenses such as the Estée Lauder fragrance license, we went into the jeans business with Tommy Jeans through Pepe, expanding internationally was another game changer. We were very fortunate to have Silas Chou as a partner really overseeing and mastering the Asian production for us.
As for the low points, when my partners decided to sell out and leave at the end of the ’90s. The stock was not doing well and they sold most of their stock and they went on to invest in Michael Kors. Joel retired. And then we had new management with new philosophy. David Dyer was CEO. The business was stalled. Then Fred Gehring, our CEO of Europe, put together a group with Apax, and I became a partner in that takeover where we took the company private. The business in Europe was doing very well, while the business in the States was leveling out and stalling. We took a page from the European book and reinvented the U.S. business. We went back to our preppie roots, we elevated the product and positioning and price point. And three years later, we sold to PVH. That was a high point. Being in the same house as Calvin, and the strength of PVH as a parent company was another game changer. Our CEO was Gehring, who had done so incredibly well reinventing Europe and became CEO of the whole thing. After the sale, he stayed for a while and handed the piece to Daniel Grieder, who became CEO of Tommy Worldwide. And the business had some great leaps forward.
WWD: What did each of these CEOs bring to the table and did they all have different strategies?
T.H.: Fred [Gehring] and Daniel [Grieder] worked together in Europe and they did such an incredible job positioning the Tommy Hilfiger brand in Europe as an elevated premium brand, and taking a page from the book they wrote really enhanced the U.S. business. So when Fred retired and Daniel took over, Daniel ignited the business even more with a new vision, which was the see now, buy now, more celebrity collaborations with Gigi Hadid, Lewis Hamilton and Zendaya, and the sky was the limit in thinking out of the box. Martijn [Hagman, current CEO] leads the strongest business we have today, which is Tommy Hilfiger in Europe. He has been with us over 15 years. He leads the charge in sustainability, digital and technology. A very strong leader.
WWD: Why did you think these collaborations with celebrities would enhance the Tommy Hilfiger brand?
T.H.: I think we look back at the earlier days that we were one of the first brands to use musicians and Hollywood stars in our marketing, attracting the audience of the fans of these celebrities was not only good back then, but great today with social media. We embraced social media in a very big way, but stepped into the future with the digital world. We did digital showrooms, we have used technology improvements to push the business forward.
WWD: What meetings or individuals were most significant in your success?
T.H.: Leonard Lauder became a mentor. The partnership with every one of my partners over the years was always enhancing whatever we were doing. I thought if I could surround myself with very intelligent, successful people it would be an advantage to the brand.
WWD: What did Joel Horowitz bring to the table?
T.H.: I called Joel “the rock.” He was just very solid, [with a] strong vision, but a lot of discipline. These businesses as you know need discipline. Each one of the partners over the years added tremendous value. I also have to say that the teams over the years were incredible. Because it’s all about the people. If you have great people, and you have a very clear vision…
WWD: Have you ever found it overwhelming and wanted to quit and spend more time on your yacht (called Flag)? What has kept you going?
T.H.: To me, it’s pure excitement, and every day is a different day and we’re thinking about what to do next 24/7. We’re thinking about where we’re going to be next year at this time, where we’re going to grow. What we’re going to improve on, and we’re continually working on the product. We believe very strongly in sustainability. We’ve been championing sustainability now for a number of years before it was the real trend. With our denim, we welcome all and waste nothing. Inclusivity has always been important to us way before it was the trend, so there’s blocking and tackling every day. Those are aspects of the heritage of Tommy Hilfiger that have always been a part of us.
WWD: Is business a lot more difficult for the company, especially post-COVID-19?
T.H.: Business is never easy because there are roadblocks whether you’re talking about supply chain, global headwinds, fewer retailers, bigger competition, price competitiveness. There are always challenges. Sometimes one could look at challenges as opportunities. Many times we’ve been able to stay strong as a result of looking at these challenges as opportunities.
WWD: Once the exclusive Macy’s deal expired, were you able to open up more department stores?
T.H.: Cautiously yes, we did. We have 199 company [outlet] stores in North America. We still do a very big business with Macy’s. We have a great relationship with them. Tommy.com has grown immensely, especially over COVID[-19]. That’s a major flagship.
WWD: So are you stronger in Europe than you are in the U.S.?
T.H.: Yes, we are stronger in Europe than we are in the U.S. We have 2,000 stores in the world. We’re in over 100 countries. And most of the stores are in Europe.
WWD: Are there any full-price Tommy Hilfiger stores in the U.S. anymore?
T.H.: Full-price, no. We’re doing most of the business via e-commerce, and Macy’s is strong for us, and the company stores. The company stores have changed, and we’re bringing the European product into the company stores. That’s a big change. By spring 2023, a majority of product in company stores is expected to be made up of global bestsellers including menswear and womenswear.
WWD: Would you want to have a U.S. flagship again?
T.H.: I would rather have pop-ups. We’re looking at different locations for pop-ups. I think if you sign a long lease, and the neighborhood changes, then you’re stuck with a long lease. That’s happened to us a few times. We’d rather have pop-up stores for a certain amount of time and continually change them and update them. We’re analyzing where we would put pop-ups. We’ve had them in locations such as SoHo, Brooklyn and Rockaway Beach. Now we want to be more strategic with meeting the customer where they really live.
WWD: Which of your international stores are you most proud of?
T.H.: The Paris store is amazing. The London stores are incredible. In Milan, we have amazing stores. The Florence store is a work of art.
WWD: Why couldn’t there be a great American one, why didn’t it work out in America?
T.H.: We had the Fifth Avenue store which was phenomenal, but then traffic dried up and there was no tourism, and we do a lot of business with tourists. All of a sudden, it just stopped. We had an enormous store. The same thing happened in Beverly Hills. We had a Rodeo Drive store and tourism dried up. That’s not to say we won’t do another flagship, but we want to make sure we’re doing them in areas that are not volatile.
WWD: Let’s go back in history a little bit. Do you feel the fact that the hip-hop community enthusiastically embraced your line in the ’90s was good for business?
T.H.: I think it was great for us to embrace the street and become one of the first to do streetwear in a big way. What happened in the ’90s was that the whole brand was over-distributed. It wasn’t just about the hip-hop streetwear. It was about everything Tommy Hilfiger was over-distributed. You saw it on every single street corner, you saw it on every single person. We had stores all over. We were selling every department store, and we had to do a cleanup. We had to take a step backward to go forward. We were always adjusting the business to cater to the needs and the demands.
WWD: But did all the attention from the hip-hop community really put you on the map?
T.H.: It was a great burst. It was before brands were really emphasizing logos. We were one of the first brands to do big logos in bright colors and they served as billboards on the streets.
WWD: What did all the ad campaigns do for your brand over the years, and what were your favorite campaigns?
T.H.: The very first campaign was the George Lois “Hangman” campaign [a billboard that said: The Four Great American Designers for Men Are, and listed initials R-L, P-E, C-K and T-H] and that caused a lot of commotion, negative and positive. What it taught me was that controversial advertising isn’t always bad but it’s a slippery slope as well. I always wanted to be presented to the public in a very positive way. I thought that in the ’80s and ’90s, a lot of the other brands featured models that looked unhappy and looked unhealthy. I wanted to just do the opposite. I wanted to do groups of young people, healthy, smiling and full of positive energy. And that really boosted our brand because it embraced the public in a way that was different from other fashion brands.
We decided early on to dress musicians, sponsor tours: Britney Spears, Lenny Kravitz, Jewel, Sheryl Crow, The Rolling Stones, because of my infatuation with music, and the music business we kept very close to our entire marketing thought process. We did an ad campaign with David Bowie and Iman for our H Collection. And that to me was fashion royalty and music royalty. They had never done a campaign together, and David had never done a campaign. That was an exciting moment, I thought.
Using celebrities in our advertising, we were able to attract their communities and their fans. So it grew our fan base. We put Gigi on the runway and did a collection with her and with Lewis Hamilton and with Zendaya. We didn’t want to just use a famous face in our advertising and marketing because everyone does that. We really wanted to authentically design together and to take their ideas and blend them with our ideas. So Gigi actually chose every button, every fabric, every color. We surrounded her with our teams to develop the product, but it was a true collaboration. With Lewis Hamilton, it was a true collaboration. And then Zendaya was a true collaboration.
We were enhancing our brand by bringing ideas from the outside in. But always surrounding the brand with pop culture, which I learned from Andy Warhol when I met him the ’80s. When Andy took me to his design studio and showed me The Factory, he was painting celebrities from all walks of life: sports stars, music stars, Hollywood stars, personalities. I thought, “OK, this embracing of pop culture would be great fuel for my brand.” I was always thinking of F.A.M.E.: fashion, art, music and entertainment. That in and of itself, in pop culture, is the needle that moves in society, but inspired by Andy. In addition to using music celebrities, we started using Hollywood celebrities and sports celebrities. And then Kate Hudson, Mark Ronson, Zoey Deschanel. We’re always embracing pop culture.
WWD: Weren’t you using Britney Spears before she was famous?
T.H.: She was our first Tommy Girl model. We were photographing her downtown on 14th Street the day “Baby One More Time” hit number one. When my brother Andy first told me about her, I said, “Britney who?” And he said, “Britney Spears, she’s going to be a big star.”
WWD: What did Andy do for your business?
T.H.: Andy introduced me to a guy by the name of Sean Combs. He said, “Puff Daddy is wearing your clothes. Snoop Dogg wants to wear your clothes on ‘SNL.’” He introduced me to the music world: hip-hop, rock, country. He’s a musician himself so he knew all these people and brought me all these people. And then created a street team to go wherever they’re shooting all these music videos and getting them into our clothes.
WWD: Did tying in with Britney Spears help propel the brand?
T.H.: Yes, with young girls. Then Quincy Jones’ daughter, Kidada, came to work for us as a stylist, and she brought up Coolio, Q Tip, Naughty by Nature. Then we did fashion shows in London bringing the hip-hop stars [to model] there, and Kate Moss and Naomi [Campbell] would walk the runway, and the British press would sit in the front row, in awe because they’d never seen anything like it, they’d never seen rappers onstage.
WWD: How do you ensure that the brand stays relevant for another 35 or 40 years, and more?
T.H.: So Stefan Larsson, our new [PVH] CEO came into the company and made some very important changes, as simple as they seem. He first said, “let’s focus on our hero product.” We took it for granted that our hero product would always be there, and would always be in stock, in color, in sizes. He thought we were not paying enough attention to it. As a result of focusing on our hero product, our hero product business started to become very strong — chinos, five-pocket jeans, polo shirts, the foundation of the business, which we had not really paid enough attention to. He said, “This is how we’re going stabilize and grow the business.” He also did something else that I thought was quite genius. He said, “Why are we making goods for our company stores? Why aren’t we taking the global bestsellers that are so phenomenal, elevated product and bringing them into the company stores,” which we did. Talk about green shoots. Now we’re talking about fields of green. Our company stores are as well merchandised as any of our flagships anywhere in the world now. The idea of meeting the consumer where the consumer is is very important. Maybe it’s a cliché, but it’s very important.
WWD: I understand who the male customer is, but who’s the female customer that you’re trying to dress?
T.H.: We have a 25- to 45-year-old female customer. Maybe she’s 56, and maybe she’s 22. We have a very strong female customer base — loyal and loves classics. But she wants fresh classics. She doesn’t want boring classics. Then we have the Tommy Jeans customer and she’s 14 to 21. She loves TikTok, she loves buying the very latest, she loves mixing and matching. She’s obsessed with music and she really cares about what her friends think of what she’s wearing. She likes logos, she likes video games, she likes accessories, she loves sneakers. She loves the influence of sport, so sport with casual, she loves colors, and she loves, now, today, oversize.
WWD: How does the business break out, men’s to women’s apparel?
T.H.: Globally, the men’s business is 60 percent, and women’s is 40 percent.
WWD: How important is the children’s?
T.H.: The children’s has always been very strong, but never as strong as the men’s and women’s.
WWD: Are you still in the same role? Do you think of retiring?
T.H.: I would be bored. They call me the principal designer. Really, I’m maybe more of the visionary of the brand because I like to look ahead and spend most of my time thinking about the future, whether it’s through marketing, or product or positioning. I’m probably guilty of bringing too many ideas to the table. There are so many different opportunities out there. You can only do so many. We have multiple collaborations coming up over the next two years. There could be many more, but we’d rather do fewer, but better, than to do large quantities of collaborations and not do a great job. Stefan and I [recently] went to Los Angeles and met with interesting people, and talked about opportunities for the brand.
WWD: How many days do you work?
T.H.: I work every single day, but not in one place. I’m Zooming and I’m traveling.
WWD: Do you have this employment deal forever?
T.H.: I have a lifetime contract.
WWD: How is the Richard Quinn collaboration performing?
T.H.: That’s one of the best. With his art and his creativity, it was phenomenal. It still is. Right now it’s one season, but because it’s so good, we’re contemplating doing something else. We have a new one coming up we haven’t announced yet.
WWD: How much volume does Tommy Hilfiger globally?
T.H.: $9.3 billion
WWD: Tell me about some of your key sustainability initiatives?
T.H.: We are building new circular business models that extend the use of clothing through resale, trade-in, repair, rework and rental. We do rentals with My Wardrobe, Rotaro and Rent the Runway, and have a resale partnership with ThredUp. We launched a “Classics Reborn” campaign on May 22, featuring Shawn Mendes wearing styles from the 1985 Program, which includes product made more sustainably. He’s a great brand ambassador. The partnership will culminate with a codesigned men’s and women’s capsule collection launching in spring 2023, which will reimagine classic pieces more sustainably through recycled and material innovations.
WWD: Since Shawn Mendes canceled his tour, what happened to the $1 million that you gave to make his tour sustainable?
T.H.: All financial investments are being directed toward the spring 2023 capsule collaboration, campaign and consumer engagement plan. We also have the People’s Place Program, which was set up to amplify the company’s efforts and dedication of resources to increasing opportunities and visibility for underrepresented communities within the fashion and apparel industries around the world. We’ve opened doors for them and done collaborations with Harlem’s Fashion Row. I’ve been mentoring Romeo Hunte for years. When we did the People’s Place Program, we brought him in as the first collaborator. We’ve had another one, and another one lined up. And then we have Fashion Frontier where we award people with sustainable ideas that will enhance start-ups.
WWD: Do you feel your company needs to be the leader of the industry when it comes to this area?
T.H.: I think we have the power to do it. And I think others should join in and I hope that we influence others to do it. There are so many talented people around who are sometimes not given the opportunity. We are very happy to be a part of leading the way. Others are doing it, but I think everyone should do it.
WWD: Tell me about your personal philanthropy.
T.H.: The Race to Erase M.S., Next for Autism, Autism Speaks, BCRF (Breast Cancer Research Foundation), and the Fresh Air Fund over the years have been near and dear to us. And also Elmira College. My family came to me a couple of years ago and asked if I would do something with Elmira College. So we set up not a design school, but a fashion business school to teach marketing and merchandising. It’s going great. We just started, and we have a partnership with the Fashion Institute of Technology.
WWD: What advice do you have for fashion students starting out today?
T.H.: Start in one lane and perfect that before you go to the next. Find a business partner, or take business courses, so you understand that part of the business. There are so many talented designers who don’t understand the business part of the business. They’re set up for failure because of that.
WWD: What are some of the other projects you’re up to?
T.H.: In addition to my Tommy Hilfiger world, I advise and consult my daughter Elizabeth with her Foo and Foo brand. She lives in L.A. and she makes everything in L.A. and everything is sustainable, mainly DTC [direct-to-consumer]. My wife Dee has her Dee Ocleppo collection of luxury handbags and footwear with everything made in Italy. She uses me as a sounding board. Her business is starting to really get traction through retailers like Farfetch. Her Judith Leiber business has quadrupled since Dee joined [in 2017] and helped them modernize and make the brand cool. I also mentor younger people.
WWD: How have you been able to balance your personal life and your professional life, and what have been the challenges there?
T.H.: I think my family understands that I’m either going to be texting, emailing or Zooming or on the phone with someone within the world of Tommy Hilfiger, whether we’re on vacation in Aspen or the Caribbean. I’m listening to my Millennial children telling me what brands are cool or what might not be cool anymore, Dee telling what might look chic, or Elizabeth [Hilfiger] telling me, “if you’re not a sustainable brand in the future, you’ll be out of business,” and I ask Richard [Hilfiger] about musicians, he’ll tell me who’s cool and who’s not. Ali [Hilfiger] is so into the world art world and she’s telling me what artists are cool. My stepson Julian [Ocleppo] is a professional tennis player so we’re pretty connected to what’s going on in the tennis world through Julian.
WWD: Did you ever imagine having this kind of success?
T.H.: It was a distant dream. I continually looked at the North Star. When I reached a certain level I would always set future goals. I never thought it would be quite like this. I still pinch myself.
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