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Thomas Jacob Hilfiger was born in 1951 in New York. He co-founded a chain of jeans and record stores called People’s Place in 1968, but it went bankrupt by 1977. Hilfiger then studied commerce and worked for Jordache Jeans before setting up his own company, Tommy Hill, in 1979. His early work was influenced by 1960s counterculture. During 1981-1982, he started two new ventures, Click Point and 20th Century Survival.

In 1985, Hilfiger founded his eponymous brand, Tommy Hilfiger, as a preppy, modern Ivy-look menswear line. The brand gained popularity in the early 1990s with its baggier, more casual clothing, which became a staple in the hip-hop scene.

Hilfiger courted the hip-hop market, and his designs were worn by celebrities like Snoop Dogg and rappers Puffy and Coolio. He was named menswear designer of the year by the CFDA in 1995 and launched womenswear in 1996. Hilfiger published several books on style and pop culture and often drew inspiration from music subcultures and American icons.

The brand’s popularity peaked in the late 1990s with its carpenter jeans and logo-emblazoned clothing. Hilfiger made a cameo appearance in the 2001 film Zoolander and later sold his company to PVH in 2006. However, he remained the principal designer of the brand.

In the 2010s, the brand launched several successful advertising campaigns, including “The Hilfigers” and “Prep World.” Hilfiger received the Geoffrey Beene lifetime achievement award in 2012 and published his memoir in 2016. As of 2021, there were approximately 2,000 Tommy Hilfiger stores worldwide, with global revenue of $9.3 billion.

Written by denisebrain