Tommy Hilfiger (birth name - Thomas Jacob Hilfiger) - American fashion designer, founder of the brand Tommy Hilfiger.
Place of Birth. Education. Tommy Hilfiger was born March 24, 1951 in Elmira, New York. He was the second child of nine. His father Richard was a Dutch-German watchmaker and his mother Virginia (née Gerrity) was an Irish nurse. According to the designer, he "is a relative of the poet Robert Burns." As a child, Tommy was dyslexic and had no friends at school. After graduation, the parents sent their son to the Elmira Free Academy. They wanted Tommy to study engineering. At the age of 17, he began to earn extra money by buying and reselling jeans.
Business. In 1969, Tommy Hilfiger left his studies and went to New York. With the accumulated $150, he bought 20 pairs of Landlubber jeans and returned to Elmira. In his hometown, he founded The People's Place store selling clothes for the younger generation. Within a few years, Tommy Hilfiger opened 7 boutiques in upstate New York.
In 1977, Tommy Hilfiger's business went bankrupt. After the failure, he took a course in trading.
In 1979, Tommy Hilfiger sold his business, moved with his future wife Susan to Manhattan and started designing clothes. Later, in an interview with the London Times, the designer said that "the fear of failure became the impetus for success."
In the early 1980s Tommy Hilfiger has modeled for Calvin Klein and Perry Ellis. Subsequently, Perry Ellis and Calvin Klein offered him a position as a designer in their companies. Tommy Hilfiger was forced to refuse for the reason that he wanted to create clothes under his own brand.
In 1984, Tommy Hilfiger met Indian textile tycoon Mohan Muryani. He offered Hilfiger a position as a designer at his Murjani Group.
In 1985, Tommy Hilfiger officially registered the Tommy Hilfiger brand and released his first collection under license from The Murjani Group.
In 1989, Tommy Hilfiger bought The Murjani Group the rights to manufacture clothes under his own brand. In his company, he began to invite experienced top managers from Ralph Lauren and Liz Claiborne.
By 2004, the company expanded, more than five and a half thousand people worked at its enterprises, and revenues exceeded $1.8 billion. But in 2006, the number of sales decreased, and the fashion designer was forced to sell the company to one of the private investment organizations for $1 .6 billion. In the subsequent time, the opinions of many media outlets that wrote about the famous designer diverged sharply. Some criticized Hilfiger's clothes, while others, on the contrary, encouraged the activities of the fashion designer. However, the Tommy Hilfiger brand currently exists, the denim clothing labeled by it sells well, and Tommy Hilfiger has excellent dividends.
On April 16, 2008, Hilfiger launched a new project - a television channel on the Internet. The project was carried out jointly with Sony BMG. Tommy TV is dedicated not only to fashion, but also to music.
In March 2010, Tommy Hilfiger was sold for $3 billion to the Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation, which owns Calvin Klein, Timberland, DKNY and others.
Worldwide retail sales of the Tommy Hilfiger brand in 2015 amounted to $6.5 billion.
Hilfiger remains the company's chief designer, leading design teams and overseeing the entire creative process.
Awards. In 1995, the Council of Fashion Designers of America named Hilfiger the top menswear designer.
In 2002, he received the "America's Future" award for charitable work in favor of American youth from Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE).
In 2009 received the UNESCO Prize for Charitable Activities.
In 2012, Hilfiger received the Jeffrey Bean Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fashion Designers Council of America.
Philanthropy. Today, Hilfiger is not only a popular designer, but also a well-known philanthropist who encourages sports. In the early and mid-nineties of the 20th century, Hilfiger actively supported some Formula 1 teams. Also in the early 2000s, Hilfiger heavily patronized the Ferrari team.
In 1995, Tommy Hilfiger founded the Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation, whose activities were aimed at improving the living conditions of the younger generation, at supporting educational and cultural programs.
In 2006, Tommy Hilfiger began working with the breast cancer charity Breast Health International. Every year, the fashion designer releases a collection of bags, 50% of the sale of which he transfers to this fund.
Tommy Hilfiger has also participated in projects such as the Establishment of a National Memorial in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., the Anti-Defamation League, the Race to Erase MS race in favor of the fight against multiple sclerosis. The designer supports the Save the Children Foundation, Children Without War, the World Wide Fund for Nature, etc. The fashion designer is a member of the board of directors of the New York Fresh Air Foundation. Tommy Hilfiger donated $2.5 million to create "Camp Tommy" for underprivileged children.
Memoirs. In 2010, in honor of the 25th anniversary of the brand, Tommy Hilfiger released the book "Tommy Hilfiger". In it, the author spoke about his life and work. The publication published footage from the designer's personal archive, stories of close friends and celebrities about Tommy Hilfiger.
Family. Since 2008, Tommy Hilfiger has been married to former model Di Ocleppo, with whom he has a son, Sebastian Thomas, born in 2009. He also has 4 children with his first wife Susan - Alexandria, Richard, Elizabeth and Kathleen.