Tommy Hilfiger goes upmarket
An exclusive party in London, followed by another in the brand’s flagship on the Piazza degli Antinori during Pitti Uomo in Florence – such was the setting Tommy Hilfiger chose to baptize his first Tailored collection, now entirely produced in-house. The designer and founder of the American brand, owned by PVH Corp., traveled from London to Florence the next day to enjoy the collection he holds so dear to his heart in the peace and quiet of an incognito visit.
“I love this!” said the famous designer met on site while ruffling through the silky cashmere jackets. “I want to buy everything! This is the first time in company history that we are taking ‘tailored’ so seriously. This project will help raise the brand. Today everyone is mixing styles. You can easily wear jeans with a very elegant jacket,” said Tommy Hilfiger.
This menswear-only, urban line based on suits has been sold in Europe under license since 1998 by the Swiss company Holy Fashion Group but was completely reintegrated into Tommy Hilfiger in January 2013. To develop this project, the company established the Tommy Hilfiger Tailored division last year, entrusting operations to Michael Berngruber, who it hired away from Boss Selection, the upscale line of German brand Hugo Boss.
“This is a very serious project. All product development is now being done in-house and is being handled by a dedicated team of 36 people. We have reviewed the fit, the cuts and done some serious work on the quality and fabrics, which are 90% Italian and created exclusively for us. If you sell a piece at 400 euros, it must be perfect,” said Michael Berngruber.
The Tailored collection is manufactured in Italy, Portugal and Eastern Europe and the line has been expanded. Tommy Hilfiger has specifically called on large Italian fabric manufacturers such as Loro Piana, Zegna and Lanificio Luigi Colombo. “We had never worked with cashmere before,” said Berngruber, vice president of Tommy Hilfiger Tailored. The collection now includes high quality pieces made of cashmere, such as suits, sweaters, knitted ties and pants in cashmere/denim.
“On one hand, we revised and improved the basic pieces in Tailored that we will maintain at the same price, at the same time moving closer to luxury. But it is still affordable luxury,” said Michael Berngruber. The Tailored collection now represents turnover of about 50 million in Europe, or 8 to 10% of Tommy Hilfiger sales. The goal is to reach 15% or even higher.
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