One brand that dominated hip-hop style in the '90s was Tommy Hilfiger. Everywhere you turned, the red, white, and blue nautical flag was flying high, and the label was known by the designer's first name. The label started off catering to a preppy, casual crowd that wasn't afraid to shine a little, and was soon appropriated by the streets, where it absolutely flourished. However, there were popular rumors throughout the decade that Tommy Hilfiger didn't want the hip-hop community wearing his clothes, which was ultimately untrue.
Eventually, Tommy's clothing fell out of favor with both the preppy crowd and the hip-hop heads, and it was soon rare to see any stylish dude rocking the brand's gear. But in the midst of a comeback, "Bloomberg Businessweek" sat down with the designer to speak on everything from the brand's humble beginnings to its current goals. But what interested us the most was when Businessweek asked Hilfiger about hip-hop's infatuation with his label, and the implications of that.
Businessweek: There was a bit of controversy at the time because the classic preppy base abandoned the Tommy brand when it was adopted by the hip-hop community. And when hip-hop moved on to a new trend, you were left hanging.
Tommy Hilfiger: Look, it fueled a lot of growth, but it took us away from our roots. We came back to our roots 10 years ago; that’s when our business started to really stabilize and grow again. 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.
What do you think of Hilfiger's answer? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
[via Bloomberg Businessweek]