Tommy Hilfiger Teams Up With Romeo Hunte On An Outrageously Cool Capsule
“I saw a lot in Romeo that reminded me of myself when I began my career,” says the legendary designer Tommy Hilfiger of his longtime mentee, the Brooklyn-born designer Romeo Hunte. “His dedication and work ethic are nothing short of impressive.” It comes as no surprise, then, that the pair has released a capsule collection together, marrying both their signature aesthetics. The edit comprises a seasonless array of non-gender specific separates inspired by the Tommy Hilfiger archives, but remixed with modern streetwear and Hunte’s trademark deconstructed design techniques. Hero styles include hybrid, mixed-media outerwear in contrasting fabrics. The classic Tommy stripe, meanwhile, is reworked in bold primary colours referencing the NYC Subway map. “It’s Manhattan prep meets Brooklyn street,” says Hunte. “I’m really proud of what we’ve done – it’s truly a meeting point of our two worlds,” adds Hilfiger.
Ahead of the collection launch on 12 August, British Vogue caught up with the designers to talk about their unique bond, what their collaborative process looked like and why it’s crucial to support the diverse talents of today.

Tommy Hilfiger: “A mutual friend introduced us five years ago. I love that Romeo started with
nothing, but had ambition and a goal, as well as immense talent.”

Romeo Hunte: “One thing I truly admire about Tommy is that he never gave up, no matter what obstacles came his way.”
What core values do you share?

TH: “Hard work is a big part of it. Perseverance and drive are two important aspects of how I
became successful as a brand, as well as how Romeo is becoming successful himself.”
RH: “I had to make my own way into the fashion industry, but I always believed in myself. That’s something me and Tommy have in common.”
Tell us about the capsule collection and its inspirations.

RH: “It was about taking iconic Tommy pieces from the archive and turning them into something new, but still classic and functional.”

TH: “It’s a combination of both the heritage of my brand and Romeo’s Brooklyn style put together. A lot of the pieces are versatile and can be worn in different ways.”
What did the collaborative process between you look like for this collection?
RH: “We came together and started with an archive walkthrough, which made me reflect back
to when I was in high school and what Tommy Hilfiger meant to me then. We also looked at
silhouettes in the prints.”

What are some of the standout pieces that we’d want to buy?

RH: “The trench coat was about taking the original Tommy trench and making it more extreme. Then, the biker jacket was a hybrid of Tommy’s biker and trench; it’s a classic fit but totally modern. The double shorts are a reference to growing up in Brooklyn where it was all about baggy jeans and showing your Tommy underwear. Lastly, the vibrant orange stood out to me from the archive, so we made a unisex vest with detachable compartments that turn into separate bags. You really get the most for your money.”
Why do you feel it’s important to support diverse talents?

TH: “I’ve always looked at diversity and inclusion as part of the fabric of how I live my life and how I ran my businesses over the years. For a lot of companies now, it’s a new thing, but for us it’s just part of who we are and who we’ve always been.”

RH: “Fashion should be for everyone. With this collection, we wanted to give opportunities for a wide range of young creatives to have a seat at the table.”
What advice would you give to an aspiring designer?

RH: “Incorporate who you are and where you come from in everything you do, but also stand for something individual. It’s about pushing forward, so don’t stop and never give up.”
October 25, 2021 — Donald Charles