He may have New York in his blood but Tommy Hilfiger has a lot of love for London.
Our city, with its vibrant creativity and melting point of cultures, served as a launch pad for the American designer who arrived at London Fashion Week last night.
Taking over Tate Modern with a blockbuster cast of models — spanning catwalk veterans Naomi Campbell and Yasmin Le Bon, to Pixie Geldof and Jourdan Dunn — the all-American designer was anything but understated when it came to celebrating the best of British.
A soundtrack fusing vocals from a live hip-hop choir with The Clash and Arctic Monkeys only served to confirm this idea.
“London is the epicentre of cool and a creative hub for music, art and fashion,” Hilfiger said ahead of his show, which had a punkish sensibility, enriched by London stylist Katie Grand, editor-in-chief of Love Magazine. Appropriately, the collection juxtaposed classic Hilfiger codes — preppy sweaters and Star-Spangled Banner motifs — with streetwear.
It was the designer’s latest collaboration with Formula One star Lewis Hamilton, this time incorporating American R&B singer-songwriter H.E.R.
Highlights included boilersuits, pastel pink tracksuits and high-top trainers with glow-in-the-dark logos.
It was also the latest chapter in the brand’s effort to improve its sustainability practices and the capsule was made entirely from organic cotton.
The showcase was an opportunity for Hilfiger to highlight his position at the forefront of a new age for fashion, in which social media and shopping collide: every item on the catwalk was immediately available to buy in store and online.
Undoubtedly, Hamilton and H.E.R.’s combined Instagram following of more than 17 million succeeded in catapulting the offering into the feeds of a captive audience last night.
For Hilfiger, whose brand turns 35 this year, the power of celebrity is nothing new. “My idea all those years ago was that if a celebrity is wearing our brand, their fans will come. It’s the same with social media — but on a bigger scale.”