Iconic American fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger chats with ELLE about his signature style, modern families and why his brand shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

ELLE Canada: Tommy, you have had an illustrious career in the
world of fashion. Do you ever wake up and think to yourself: “I’m over it!”
Tommy Hilfiger: Actually, that’s a great question, and I do have an answer. I work more now as an editor because I surround myself with a team that inspire me and bring new ideas to the table constantly. Am I over it? Absolutely not.  They are what keeps me going; you’re only as good as your team.
EC: How do you keep your brand relevant in today’s fashion landscape?
TH: It just keeps moving ahead, and we always have to modernize our ideas. Make it fresh, but make it familiar; make it fun and stylish and make it affordable and wearable. Those are very important goals for the Tommy Hilfiger brand; more important than anything else.
EC: Given today’s economic climate, there has been a shift in fashion towards a more democratic approach in buying and selling. Do you think there is any place for democracy in fashion? Or should it always be aspirational? It can most certainly be both.
Aspirational can still be very affordable, you know. As a designer brand, we have a duty to the customer to bring “newness” out in a continual sense. This newsness can be in the form of colour, fabric, detail, shape, the way you mix and match pieces together; a nuance you may not have originally thought of.  It’s important to offer your customer a new surprise each time.
EC: Who was the original Tommy woman and how has she changed over the years?
TH: Well, there are more of them now, that’s for sure (laughs).  At the beginning she was a very specific, young, 22-year-old that liked
trendy fashions. But now, we dress her mother, her sister, her aunt, her cousin. She’s an everywoman in the sense she wears black tie, she wears gowns, she’ll wear something to school, to work, out for drinks. The Tommy brand has a signature look: the nautical, preppy, red-white-and-blue, so our woman can buy these classics that will last forever, but she’ll also buy what may be fashionable this season, and not necessarily the next.  She’s fun, wholesome.