During the early ‘90s, a young fashion designer by the name of Tommy Hilfiger took his ‘Hilfiger’ clothing line public and reached unthinkable heights. Hilfiger’s threads were a staple in the hip-hop community during the 90s and rappers were instrumental in helping Hilfiger attain his success.
Hilfiger recently sat down with Bloomberg Businessweek for an interview to discuss his rise, fall and eventual comeback in the fashion industry. As the interview wore on, the designer spoke on the impact of hip-hop on his business. “Look, it fueled a lot of growth, but it took us away from our roots,” says Hilfiger. “When people ask me advice, I say stick to who you are. Stick to your guns. There is an image and attitude to most brands and that’s really important. I like to stick to my heritage and not chase trends and at that point we were chasing trends. Chasing trends was easy but it was dangerous. It’s more important to me now to be consistent.”
Hilfiger came under fire in the later ‘90s for apparently making negative remarks about the brand’s popularity amongst minority communities on an unaired episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. Hilfiger sat down with Oprah in 2007 to address the rumors about the comments and the speculated interview which lives on in internet immortality.—G. Valentino Ball