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- I wanted to build a brand of clothing around my own attitude - Tommy Hilfiger
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Born March 24, 1951, and raised in Elmira, New York. Thomas Jacob Hilfiger grew up in an Irish Catholic family. The second of nine children, Hilfiger knew from a young age that he wanted to pursue a career in fashion. Rather than furthering his education, an 18-year-old Hilfiger decided to work in retail -- apparently he had an innate business sense, even early on. That business sense paid off and has led to one of the most succesful Designer Brands in history...The Tommy Hilfiger Brand!
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The designer Tommy Hilfiger has agreed to sell his biggest clothing lines exclusively at Macy’s, both companies are expected to announce today in a deal that could rattle the department store industry.
Tommy Hilfiger’s brand has lost ground in recent years.
The deal is a coup — if not a vindication — for Macy’s, which promised that its rocky merger with May Department Stores in 2005 would give it the heft to secure scores of such agreements.
But it could prove a headache for Macy’s rivals. Under the agreement, Mr. Hilfiger must now remove his signature clothing lines from the shelves of stores like Dillard’s and Bon-Ton, a move likely to upset shoppers.
Beginning in the fall of 2008, Mr. Hilfiger will restrict sales of his men’s and women’s sportswear lines — from hoodie sweaters to puffer coats — to Macy’s roughly 800 stores. The combined lines are estimated to have annual sales of at least $200 million.
“This is a very big deal for us,” the chief executive of Macy’s, Terry J. Lundgren, said in an interview last night. “Tommy is very significant brand.”
Mr. Hilfiger called Macy’s “our most important account” and said its merger with May made an exclusive deal “all the more compelling and logical.”
Dozens of retailers have struck agreements to sell exclusive clothing lines over the last decade, but the Macy’s-Hilfiger deal stands apart because of the clothing brand’s reputation and popularity.
For decades, Tommy Hilfiger was part of an elite club of designers — Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan among them — that dominated department store sales and became megabrands in the process.
Hilfiger has lost much ground over the last five years, going through an identity crisis that took it from preppy to urban and back again, hurting sales. But it is still a force in fashion.
Macy’s move suggests it may have several major designers in its sights, a prospect that Mr. Lundgren did not try to dismiss in an interview. “Our policy is to listen to any good ideas,” he said.
Mr. Lundgren said the Hilfiger deal rests on the assumption that Mr. Hilfiger can sell as much if not more sportswear clothing at Macy’s than he does now at several chains.
“We have the scale to make the math work for a brand like Tommy Hilfiger,” Mr. Lundgren said.
Tommy Hilfiger, which is owned by the private equity firm Apax Partners, may still sell its full line at its own branded stores, and may sell licensed products like fragrances and shoes at Macy’s competitors.
Representatives from Dillard’s and Bon-Ton could not be reached for comment last night.
Without doubt, the agreement poses the greatest risk for Mr. Hilfiger, who will be betting his signature brand on the success of Macy’s, which has hit several roadblocks over the last year.
As part of the merger of Macy’s and May, which operated chains like Marshall Field’s in Chicago and Filene’s in Boston, Mr. Lundgren changed the name of 11 regional department stores to Macy’s, alienating thousands of consumers.
Compounding the problems, Macy’s abruptly reduced the number of coupons it offered shoppers, costing it sales.
The immediate benefit of the merger, however, was the ability to persuade manufacturers to sell products exclusively to Macy’s. So far, Mr. Lundgren has secured a home décor line from Martha Stewart and small clothing lines from the designers Elie Tahari and Oscar de la Renta.
But the results have been uneven. The de la Renta line, for example, has not sold well. The new Martha Stewart home line, on the other hand, is considered a major success, with sales exceeding expectations.
Mr. Lundgren said he was working on several additional exclusive agreements, but he said he was taking his time because such arrangements “are a big commitment — it’s a marriage.”
“You shake your hand and all of a sudden the line does not look good the
0 Comments 293 weeks
Tommy Hilfiger Group announced today that it has signed Thierry Henry, one of the world’s most successful and iconic sportsmen, to be an international brand ambassador in an endorsement agreement for Tommy Hilfiger men’s formal and underwear. Thierry Henry will feature in dedicated Tommy Hilfiger advertising and marketing campaigns in both Spring and Fall ‘07. The agreement also includes the design and production of a limited edition capsule collection by Tommy Hilfiger, which will be inspired by the signature style of Thierry Henry. It will also see Tommy Hilfiger become a sponsor of Thierry’s new charity, “THe One 4 All Foundation”.
Thierry Henry is revered as one of the world’s greatest soccer stars, having achieved tremendous success on the field, and is an iconic representation of grace, athleticism and sophistication off the field. The limited edition collection will be promoted and sold throughout select international Tommy Hilfiger freestanding stores, including the recently opened flagship store in Rue St. Honore in Paris, and the recently opened Regent Street store in London. The collection will be available for Fall ‘07 in conjunction with the Thierry Henry Fall ‘07 advertising campaign.
Proceeds from the sale of the limited edition collection will be donated to Thierry Henry’s new charity, THe One 4 All Foundation, named after Thierry Henry’s soccer shirt number. The aim of the Foundation is to help eradicate racism and poverty through education. Tommy Hilfiger’s sponsorship of the Foundation will include promotions at points of sale where the collection is sold.
0 Comments 334 weeks
Tommy Hilfiger is superstitious to an almost excessive degree. The designer, who's always favored bright-colors and bold patterns, apparently also has very particular ideas about numerology.**
Our tipster reports that Tommy Hilfiger changes his phone numbers to include the number 8 because he think it's "lucky." Says our spy: "All the office numbers are changing."
In other Hilfiger-related news, we've heard he also hates black cats, has a rampant case of triskadekaphobia, and has never missed a single episode of Monk.
Seriously, though, we've always pegged Tommy as sort of a strange guy, but this is definitely a most puzzling idiosyncracy. And it also strikes us as somewhat counterintuitive. After all, where exactly was all this pseudo-spiritualism crap back in 2003, when Hilfiger's spoiled daughter informed us (on her reality show) that her parents had purchased an "extremely expensive" lotion, made from the foreskin of little babies' penises?
But a telephone number without an '8' in it? Now, that'd just be fucking up the natural order of things.
0 Comments 338 weeks