Tommy Jacob Hilfiger was born on March 24, 1951, 2nd of 9 children of a Roman Catholic family. He is a world-famous fashion designer best known for his eponymous “Tommy Hilfiger” brand.
Tommy’s father, a jeweller, was a classic dresser. Tommy was a frustrated athlete, too small to make the school teams but a ripe candidate for the counter-culture. He is a graduater of Elmira Free Academy. He initial foray into fashion was a store called “The People’s Place”. The store was a big draw for the local teen crowd in Elmira because it often held live broadcasts from local radio personalities, sold rock and roll related clothing including Kiss and Aerosmith belt buckles, and had a discreet head shop upstairs which sold drug related paraphernalia such as bongs, roach clips, and incense. There he designed under the name Jacob Alan and sold these clothes in his store.
By 1975, he had a chain of seven stores, but lost them all in 1976 when he went bankrupt due to too much partying. Because of that he moved to New York in 1979 to pursue a career as a fashion designer.
In 1984 he founded the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation, introducing his signature menswear collection.
He got married to a girl named Susie, and had 4 children on the way. His wife had gone to Fashion School. On their honeymoon, they went to India and designed a line of clothing backed by a local factory owner. Back in New York, he collaborated with Mohan Murjan, the man who made Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans the first mass-market fashion product. Together they made youthful clothes for the Coca-Cola logo. Sales really started taking off in 1989 when designer fashion was losing its share of the market and easy-to-buy lines offered the best of both worlds.
In 1992, his company went public and in 1994 against sold more shares. It used the capital to open hundreds of boutiques in large stores. They exploded.
In 1992, the breakthrough in the market came, when Hilfiger's clothes first caught on in a big way with black teenagers. This happened because they were worn by the Hip-Hop entertainers like Snoop Doggy Dog, the Fugees and others. For his womens wear, he lined up Quincy Jones' daughter Kidada to help him sell his gear. Going into the 21st century, Hilfiger's clothes dominate streetwise sportswear and his distinctive red, white and blue logo is seen everywhere. His mastery of the street market has made a lasting impact on fashion.
Tommy has also started designing dresses for the up-scale market. After September 11th 2001 terrorist attack, American flags became extremely popular. Hilfiger has always used "old Glory" to great advantage, and is now a most popular designer because of his flag prints. Tommy brought out a new H Hilfiger line for Spring/Summer 2004, and the first campaign were with model Iman and her husband David Bowie, conveying style and elegance.
The Company’s apparel products are recognized throughout the world for their classic and timeless design. The company’s designers work to combine classic, spirited American styling with unique details and fit to give time-honored basics a fresh and updated look — a “Fresh American Style” approach. The Company emphasizes core and basic styles as the principal components of its product offerings and its apparel products are designed to appeal to customers who desire high quality clothing at competitive prices.