What’s the secret to Tommy Hilfiger’s success?

The marriage between entertainment and fashion is the way forward for retail, says designer at World Retail Congress

The second day of the World Retail Congress started with a full house, thanks to Tommy Hilfiger, who was one of the speakers in the morning. Tommy Hilfiger is the man behind the eponymous brand that today sells in more than 90 countries and has more than 1,400 standalone stores. He is also one of the recipients of the World Retail Congress Hall of Fame Awards for 2016. Of course, the question on everyone’s mind was: “What is the secret behind your success?” Hilfiger replied: “Being passionate about what I do.” As he spoke about his brand and its story, there was a lot more that went into Hilfiger’s success than passion alone. Hilfiger first came to the fashion forefront when in 1985 he took out a billboard in Times Square saying “CK, RL, TH”. At that point Hilfiger was an unknown brand, but everyone knew what CK (Calvin Klein) and RL (Ralph Lauren) stood for. This bold move was out of the box, and though Hilfiger admits he was reluctant at first about taking this approach, it made him gain the attention of the fashion industry. “I then had to make sure I had the product right.” Hilfiger is known for taking the FAME approach to his marketing with F standing for fashion, A for the arts, M for music and E for entertainment. He often does collaboration with celebrities from the arts, music and entertainment world. At present, the brand has tied up with supermodel Gigi Hadid for a special collection. “A brand is like a living thing… You have to surprise the consumer,” he said. And you also have to be one step ahead of the consumer. “You have to know what they want before they know they need it,” said the designer. Keeping nimble is also important and Hilfiger has been both a private and public company at different times – at present, the company is owned by the Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation. “Partners are important,” and in this market, the partner is Nilesh Ved’s Apparel Group. As for going digital, that is something Hilfiger has embraced from the beginning. The creative director and strategist said: “You have to be incredibly innovative with everything from the tech world.” An omni-channel approach is a must for him. He also thinks that ‘see now, buy now’ fashion is the way forward. The Hadid capsule collection will be the brand’s first ‘buy now, wear now’ range, and will be available to buy online straight after it is presented on the catwalk in September. (With the supermodel having over 16 million followers on Instagram, Hilfiger’s thought process is obvious.) It seems that his mantra of knowing the pulse of pop culture is the true secret to his brand’s success. As a parting shot, he said: “The marriage between entertainment and fashion is the way forward for retail. The consumer wants to be entertained while they are shopping.” Source of article: khaleejtimes.com

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