Tommy Hilfiger, the iconic American designer, didn’t become a legend by sitting on his laurels. With a Spring 2017 runway show in Venice, CA for 3,000 lucky guests tonight, Feb. 8, Tommy reveals EXCLUSIVELY how he stays on top by seeking and embracing change.
1. Why have you enthusiastically jumped into the ‘fashion show, then shop’ retail revolution? ie consumers can buy your collection immediately after it has been shown.
Tommy: I really believe that you have to listen to your customers and they are saying that they want immediate gratification and they want “experiences.” They want to buy looks when they see them. They want it here and now. When we did our first show and shop collection with Gigi Hadid, 21, for Fall 2016, we had a 900% increase in visits to our website to buy the clothes and we sold out of everything. We went way beyond our expectations. That first show, then shop collection which was shown in September 2016, in New York City’s South Street Seaport took our company to a whole new level.
2. What kind of “experiences” do young women want today from fashion?
Tommy: They want to see entertainers and artists and celebrities being part of the fashion experience. Our new show will be an experience — there will be live musical performances, skateboarders, graffiti artists, rides and you’ll be able to buy the clothes at the Venice Beach show location, right after the show.
Tommy points out that his customers can also follow along with the experiences of his 55 models, including Bella Hadid, 20, and Joan Smalls, 28, who he flew to LA on a giant chartered plane last night, Feb. 7. I was on that plane in the midst of 55 happy young women as they sang and danced in their Tommy Hilfiger outfits and shared their experiences and Tommy looks on social media.
3. How has Gigi Hadid, your co-designer for TOMMYxGIGI, influenced the Spring 2017 collection?
Tommy: It’s really inspired by Gigi’s cool, casual Southern California style. She likes simple, basic colors like greys and blacks along with red, white and blue. And she likes comfort. Comfort is key. Also, our clothes have to be fun. Girls don’t want to take themselves so seriously. They love to wear streetwear to work today.
4. Why do your young women customers want to shop online? Why are they shopping less in stores?
Tommy: The experience of going into a store today is not fun. You have to struggle to find a parking spot and waste time in line at the cash register, when you could be home and comfortable and having fun. It’s so much more convenient to shop online. For stores to succeed today they have to offer a great experience — be cool. We have even set up a Tommyland SNAP:SHOP to make shopping even easier for our customers. They can take a snap of a look at the show with their phones and go right to our SNAP:SHOP app, upload the pic of the look and buy the pieces right after the show.
5. How have you continued to make Tommy Hilfiger so successful and relevant?
Tommy: If you want to stay ahead you have to build momentum by not just accepting change, but wanting it. You have to seek change and keep leapfrogging. I like to take risks. Maybe not every risk works out but if you don’t take them — like reorganizing our clothing production schedule so we could sell our clothes right after the show — then we would never get the rewards.
Check out HollywoodLife’s photos and videos from Tommy’s plane to LA, plus the live stream of his Tommyland Venice Beach show, tonight at 5:00 PT right here on HollywoodLife.com!