DfT Patron Tommy Hilfiger (2014)



For 25 years, Tommy Hilfiger has brought classic, American, cool apparel to consumers around the world. His designs give time-honored classics a fresh look, and his discerning taste has provided the foundation for the growth of a global brand.

Under Hilfiger’s guidance, vision and leadership as principal designer, the Tommy Hilfiger Group has become one of very few globally-recognized designer brands offering a wide range of American-inspired apparel and accessories.

Born the second of nine children in Elmira, New York, Hilfiger’s career in fashion began as a high school student in 1969, when he opened a small chain of stores called People’s Place with just 0. His goal was to bring “cool big city styles” from New York to his friends in their small town in upstate New York. Hilfiger soon began designing for the boutiques he had always admired, and in 1979 he moved to New York City to pursue a career as a full-time fashion designer. There, he caught the eye of Mohan Murjani, a businessman who was looking to launch a line of men’s clothing and believed that Hilfiger’s entrepreneurial background gave him the unique ability to approach men’s fashion in a new way. With Murjani’s support, Hilfiger introduced his first signature collection in 1985 by modernizing button-down shirts, chinos, and other time-honored classics with updated fits and details. The relaxed, youthful attitude of his first designs has remained a distinctive hallmark throughout all of Hilfiger’s subsequent collections.

As Hilfiger’s designs merged with popular culture, he began to extend his company’s distinct brand message across a variety of mediums and platforms, including the introduction of Tommy Hilfiger Collection, men’s tailored, Hilfiger Denim, men’s and women’s sportswear, childrenswear, bodywear, footwear, accessories and licensed products such as watches, jewelry, eyewear and fragrance.

Through his creative efforts as a designer and in working on a series of bold marketing campaigns, Hilfiger has shaped and developed lasting relationships with a wide range of cultural influencers and trendsetters.

In 1995 Tommy Hilfiger launched The Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation to enrich the physical and intellectual wellbeing of youth, with a major emphasis on education and cultural programs. In 2013, all Foundation activities around the world aligned under the global banner of Tommy Cares, to unite the brand’s philanthropic commitments, non-profit partnerships and employee engagement. Hilfiger is actively involved in supporting charitable causes including Autism Speaks and the MLK, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation.

Since 2008, Tommy Hilfiger has supported BHI – a globally renowned organization committed to finding a cure for breast cancer – by designing limited edition bags, with sales proceeds donated directly to BHI’s Fund for Living Program. Each seasonal handbag campaign is supported by celebrity ambassadors, which have included supermodels Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer, photographed by Patrick Demarchelier; actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg, photographed by Drew Barrymore; actress Renée Zellweger and many more.