Tommy Hilfiger Strikes Key Partnerships to Advance Underrepresented Communities in Fashion
Tommy Hilfiger has established several partnerships with its People’s Place Program to champion Black, Indigenous and people of color in fashion.
“The People’s Place Program is a cornerstone in our efforts to open the door to everyone who has been left out by fashion,” said Tommy Hilfiger, principal designer at Tommy Hilfiger Global. “This welcoming spirit has always been at the heart of our brand, and we are here to do more and to do better.”
The People’s Place Program was launched last July to amplify the company’s efforts and dedication of resources to increasing opportunities and visibility for underrepresented communities within the fashion and apparel industries around the world. The platform has three pillars: Partnership & Representation, Career Support & Industry Access and Industry Leadership.
The first round of partnerships includes The Fashion and Race Database, which is an online platform that expands the narrative of fashion history and challenges misrepresentation within the fashion system. It was created by Kim Jenkins, assistant professor fashion studies at Ryerson University. The database is an educational resource that focuses on people who previously had been hidden in the margins of fashion history.
The People’s Place Program will partner with FRD to fund and support a research study called “The Unsung History of American Sportswear” to uncover overlooked influences from Black American culture on signature Tommy Hilfiger styles. Throughout this year, the research will be developed into content series and educational resources that will be available internally, and to industry peers and consumers.
“The Fashion and Race Database is thrilled to partner with an American company like Tommy Hilfiger and its namesake brand, a vibrant piece of fashion history,” said Jenkins. “As a professor and founder of the database, it has been my mission to urge brand owners to embrace what fashion education has to offer the industry. Tommy Hilfiger understands and respects the power of this learning, and is leading the charge, showing its peers what is possible in building a more intelligent and compassionate fashion system.”
The research will include an examination of American sportswear through a study of denim, the cotton trade, origins of preppy style at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the sartorial expression of social activist moments, streetwear culture, and additional categories that will emerge through FRD’s research.
A second partnership will be with Harlem’s Fashion Row, the New York-based agency founded by Brandice Daniel in 2007 to champion the advancement of people of color in the fashion industry.
Tommy Hilfiger will be a supporting sponsor for Harlem’s Fashion Row’s 3rd Annual Digital Fashion Summit that takes place Feb. 18. Hilfiger will join Daniel and Randy Cousin, senior vice president, product concepts and People’s Place Program, to discuss how Hilfiger is working toward creating more access and opportunities for Black, Indigenous and people of color in the fashion industry.
Hilfiger will also partner with Harlem’s Fashion Row to identify ways for emerging talent to receive mentorship and network with internal teams as well as industry insiders.
“We are delighted to partner with Tommy Hilfiger on the Annual Digital Fashion Summit to highlight solutions and practices for diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry,” said Harlem’s Fashion Row chief executive officer Daniel. “With our collaborative effort, we aim to address and implement change. Addressing the concerns takes a long-term commitment and we acknowledge the steps that Tommy Hilfiger is taking, and we are elated about their upcoming plans to provide opportunities for designers of color.”
The company’s Tommy Hilfiger and Tommy Jeans spring campaigns feature a diverse cast of social, cultural and creative influencers, including activists, musicians, poets, dancers and filmmakers. This month, Black talent, including musician and producer Saba, and the horse riding and mentorship collective Compton Cowboys will take over the brand’s social media channels to highlight significant moments in Black American history and recognize people and culture that inspire them every day.
Over the summer, Hilfiger will launch collaborative capsule collections with actor, model and activist Indya Moore, and fashion designer Romeo Hunte, whom Hilfiger has mentored for a long time.
“We are determined to continue putting real action behind our words,” said Avery Baker, president and chief brand officer of Tommy Hilfiger. “Equity and inclusion cannot be achieved through short-term recognition; we have to bring them to the forefront every day."