Tommy Hilfiger takes his rock circus to London
Tommy Hilfiger climaxed London Fashion Week by staging a massive rock circus in a British temple of rock 'n' roll with a bold and gripping collection.
For his third Tommy x Gigi collaboration with Gigi Hadid, Tommy ventured to north London to the Roundhouse, the former train garage where The Doors played their first British gig, and everyone from Jimi Hendrix and The Who to Simple Minds and The Water Boys staged concerts. The runway show marked the first time Tommy x Gigi included menswear – along with his own classic Hilfiger Edition.
The result: easily Hilfiger’s best collection this decade. The supermodel’s influence was apparent in the whole devil-may-care attitude of these clothes. Shaggy, ever so faintly demonic, after-hours naughty and defiantly sexy Tommy x Gigi was a powerful show, and one that will influence fashion. Quite an accomplishment for this brand.
And talk about a great front-row. Tommy pulled rank on every other show in London by having Neymar Junior – in customized denim – sitting front row with Lewis Hamilton, surrounded by super blondes, Poppy Delevingne and Lara Stone. Gaining the imprimatur of the most expensive footballer on the planet – and the recently hired 200 million euro star of Paris-Saint-Germain - was what they call in fashion “a genius move”. However, eyebrows were raised by the presence of Sir Phillip Green, the contested fashion retailer, whose knighthood is at risk after what most commentators consider his brutal misappropriation of British Home Stores pension fund.
Adding to the drama, a team of muscular acrobats soared high into the upper reaches of the Roundhouse, pulling themselves up on huge fabric ropes; suspended on hoops, turning cartwheels on the floor. All wearing Tommy Hilfiger underwear.
Tommy’s new brand ambassadors The Chainsmokers, the New York DJ duo of Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall, followed them.
“It’s what I am all about: the meeting of music and fashion,” said Tommy who took his bow with Gigi Hadid, in a long flowing chiffon tartan cape.
Standouts included a fabulous mohair coat teamed with patent leather skinny jeans and a Tommy beanie; bold in your face floor-length puffers; and skateboarder badass leggings.
Tommy also welcomed editors and fans into his new hi-tech store, a mammoth space on Regents Street. The boutique features huge touch screens, where customers can compose looks on virtual models, and order the results off the screen, or via their mobiles or, in the old fashion way, from an actual member of the sale staff. “Or a combination of all three. Whatever works for our clients we will make it work!” smiled Daniel Grieder, CEO of Tommy Hilfiger.
In an uncanny piece of timing, all of Regents Street was covered with "Star-Spangled Banner" bunting, advertising a major NFL game at the end of the month. The new store also included a smart café called People’s Place – a homage to the very first store Hilfiger ever opened back in his hometown of Elmira in 1971.
Like in Tommy’s two previous "see now, buy now" forays – on a New York pier and a Los Angeles beach - all the runway looks were immediately available on the web.
“It’s an enormous logistical nightmare, but we will have the collection in 150 stores selling tonight,” trumpeted CEO Grieder
The actual Tommy x Gigi show featured limited edition looks. All told, the house pre-produced over 30,000 pieces, underlining the brand’s commitment to "see now, buy now". The Swiss-born executive explained that the pre-production run could vary from 300 pieces to over 2,000 depending on the garment.
Talk about a win-win: as Tommy took London on his own terms.
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