Fashion Week 2012: Designing Is A Father-Daughter Affair For The Hilfigers
Tommy Hilfiger set the stage for his shows this year outside the Lincoln Center tents, and NY1's George Whipple went backstage to learn about the designer's lines for men and women and also talked about Hilfiger's daughter's designs.
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Usually it's "ladies first," but in Tommy Hilfiger's case, he showed the men's line with military style at the Seventh Regiment Armory, ahead of the women. His collection had his signature preppy look, but that's not how he started.
George Whipple: Did you start out in the vintage business or did I make that up? Did you and your brother start selling vintage clothes?
Tommy Hilfiger: We sold bell bottoms [pants] in the '70s.
Whipple: Are there going to be any bell bottoms here?
Hilfiger: No, we straightened them out last season!
When Hilfiger designs for the modern man, he's still thinking about the women.
"It's the same vibe, the same similar idea. And there's a compliment because the girl who wears the clothes dates the guy who wears the clothes or is married to or hangs out with the same guy," says Hilfiger.
Pleasing a woman is sometimes complicated.
"For men, George, it's very easy because I'm designing for myself. I don't have to question whether or not someone else would wear it. But for women, it's a little bit different because we're designing for a different species," says Hilfiger. "We would like to think that we know what they like, but we don't know what they like until we put the merchandise in the stores and they start buying, or not."
Tommy Hilfiger's daughter, Ally, showed her support at both collections. For the Hilfigers, fashion is a family affair, as she presented her own line this season. It's a little different from her dad's.
"I have a collection called NAHM. It's a women's-wear line, it's advanced contemporary, a lot of print, a lot of powerful women on stage," says Ally Hilfiger. "It's about the powerful, confident woman this season, who's not afraid to wear print."
Hilfiger the elder is one proud pop.
"She has a more avant-garde look, hers is more advanced, much younger. She has her own idea of what to do and how to do it," says Tommy Hilfiger. "She doesn't want my influence and that's fine with me because I have my hands full anyway. But I'm very proud and very happy that she's doing what she's doing."