Tommy Hilfiger is known as the American Dreamer. He started from humble beginnings in Elmira, New York and built a $6 Billion brand and he's coming to Palm Beach to tell us how. Join us for the Civic Association Annual Award Luncheon at The Breakers!
Considered the pioneer of “classic American cool” style, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger has created one of the world’s most recognized lifestyle brands. Inspired by pop culture and a love for Americana, Hilfiger’s brand, which was launched in 1985, is driven by the kind of rule-bending optimism that celebrates individuality and shares an inclusive, youthful spirit with consumers worldwide.
A fashion icon and committed philanthropist, Hilfiger will be the keynote speaker at the Palm Beach Civic Association’s Annual Award Luncheon at The Breakers on January 16, 2017. He will share stories from his recently released memoir, “American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion and Business.”
1. TOMMY on his INSPIRATION:
"My inspiration came from my love for Americana, the outdoors, New England, Hollywood, Aspen, Miami, Malibu, sports, music, pop culture, travel, film, and what was going on in the streets. Always has, always will."
2. TOMMY on BRAND IDENTITY:
"Our sweet spot in the market was 'affordable luxury.' For a time we defined ourselves as designer sportswear, and our goods as 'accessible, aspirational, relatively inexpensive.' Affordable luxury captures the essence in a phrase, and we stuck with that. We would be a status brand for a very broad audience. Even in 2008, at the depth of the financial crisis, we did well – in fact, we had our best year ever – because were affordable luxury.”
3. TOMMY on WHEN SNOOP DOG WORE TOMMY HILFIGER on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE:
"That night that made Tommy Hilfiger supremely cool with “the youth.” We were trending.... legit. Then Russell Simmons, a brilliant entrepreneur, told me that urban kids aspired to an upscale, preppy New England look, but couldn’t afford it. Tommy Hilfiger was within reach. At the time, they were wearing Adidas and Reebok athletic wear, but didn’t have their own designer to follow. I became the designer of choice for young hip-hop street kids, rappers, skaters, all different types. It was very exciting going to this new level."
4. TOMMY on his ROLE MODELS:
"My models were Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. I looked at those guys as the Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz of the design world, and me as the Audi. I thought, “If I continue to expand the product line, get it in the right stores, improve the design, fit and quality, I’m going to move up to being a Porsche.”
5. TOMMY on his BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY:
“I've always tried to select the right people to be around, who can fill in the gaps in my knowledge and expertise. I also look for integrity and strong ethics, because I never want to do anything that is even slightly questionable in terms of being legal, moral, or just. And I never want to burn a bridge. I was brought up to believe that how you feel about yourself when you look in the mirror is more important than besting other people."
6. TOMMY on his ROLE since PVH BOUGHT TOMMY HILFIGER for $3.1 BILLION in 2010:
"Under PVH, I became the Tommy Hilfiger ambassador. By handing over the baton, I gave the brand the opportunity to take my DNA and signature and make it better. I am very proud of the job they have done, and we work very well as a team. I give my opinion on a regular basis, and the designers are responsive. The difference is now I make suggestions rather than give directions."
7. TOMMY (has two children on the autism spectrum), on AUTISM SPEAKS:
"Dee and I joined the board of Autism Speaks, an organization headed by Bob and [the late] Suzanne Wright that has raised millions of dollars and awareness about a disease that remains mysterious. A child may be developing properly, and then all of a sudden he regresses. At a year old, our son Sebastian was counting steps as he was going up the stairs. Then one day he just stopped. Autism Speaks is one of the most important charities with which we are involved"
8. TOMMY on PHILANTHROPY:
"When I first started to make a little money, one of my main goals was to give back. Over the past 20 years, the Tommy Hilfiger Foundation has donated more than $50 million to causes and organizations around the world. We are blessed with good fortune and do our best to spread that blessing. We have our priorities, and autism is on top of the list now, but so many causes are worthwhile."
In addition to featuring guest speaker Tommy Hilfiger at the Civic Association’s Annual Awards Luncheon, Beth Walton President/CEO of the Town of Palm Beach United Way, will be presented with its Community Service Award. The event is being sponsored by First Republic Bank and The Breakers. Tickets start at $200.
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