Why Tommy Hilfiger is a Must-Know 90s Brand

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Is Tommy Hilfiger a Good Brand

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

There are many names in the fashion industry that you recognize without needing to be a fashion fan and Tommy Hilfiger is one of those. This classic American brand has built an iconic reputation that has kept them in the spotlight for decades.

But, how much do you know about the brand? Keep reading to explore why Tommy Hilfiger is an enduring high fashion brand and why it had such an influence in the 1990s.

What is Tommy Hilfiger’s signature style?

When you think of Tommy Hilfiger’s clothes, preppy-chic style comes to mind. The brand states that its goal is to represent “the essence of classic American-cool style with a preppy twist”. If you’re a fan of classic shapes, good fabrics, and sportswear, this is the brand for you.

Many think of red, blue, and white too when Tommy Hilfiger is mentioned. This is because of their iconic red and blue logo, a signature motif that is carried throughout many of their collections. White and cream neutral tones are also often used within their collections, building up a sense of preppy casual wear too.

Other signature style points for this brand include “elevated sportswear”. These are traditional sports-style pieces, such as jackets and pants, that are reimagined in luxury fabrics for everyday wear. If you want to look and feel like an all-American star, this is the brand to invest in!

Tommy Hilfiger’s brand origins

Tommy Hilfiger was born Thomas Jacob Hilfiger in 1951 in New York. Tommy was one of nine siblings and came of Irish descent. Though he came from European roots, Tommy’s youth and experience in the U.S heavily influenced his design identity.

By 1985 Tommy was working as a fashion designer and he was ready to create his own label. The signature brand “Tommy Hilfiger” was founded and exploded onto the scene with an impressive Times Square marketing campaign. Even from day one, this brand was capturing worldwide attention.

Initially, the Tommy Hilfiger line focused on creating collections that embodied Tommy’s small-town roots. This included a preppy look with influences from nautical wear, sports, and Ivy League academia. Though these initial influences were uniform-like, Tommy transformed them into a ready-to-wear casual aesthetic.

90s influence

The 90s were key for Tommy’s brand expansion, it was this decade that the fashion brand came into its own.

As hip-hop music was starting to gain popularity, so did the clothes. Early musicians and rappers started to wear garments from Tommy’s collections, increasing their exposure in new pop culture circles. Product placement, though by accident, was an important reason Tommy Hilfiger is known as a 90s fashion brand. Notable names that embraced the Tommy style include Snoop Dogg, Grand Puba, Wu-tang-clan, and many more.

Snoop Dogg wore a branded Tommy Hilfiger shirt on the popular U.S program Saturday Night Live, introducing the brand to an even larger audience. The next day the clothing line sold out a range of products and sales doubled. Snoop Dogg was arguably one of the most famous rappers at the time, making the product placement a key turning point for the Tommy Hilfiger team.

Another rapper, Grand Puba, loved the Hilfiger brand so much that he included it in his song lyrics. Though Grand Puba wasn’t as famous as Snoop Dogg, this gave the brand even more exposure and helped boost the sales of Hilfiger clothes.

Is Tommy Hilfiger in Style today?

Since its success in the 90s, the Tommy Hilfiger brand has stayed afloat and continued to produce casual yet preppy designs. This is impressive, many fashion brands have a decade in the limelight and slowly fade out. Tommy Hilfiger’s focus on classic American style has set them apart from others and captured the hearts of many fans.

The business was valued at $9.2 billion in 2020, proving that 20 years on from the 90s it’s doing better than ever. Tommy Hilfiger still collaborates with musicians and the entertainment industry to build brand awareness, a tactic that always works for their clothes.

The current aesthetic of the brand still focuses on laid-back casual clothes with a preppy edge, however, to keep up with trends you often find more bright pops of color and modern cuts too. Their target demographic is younger consumers and Hilfigers frequently use social media platforms like Instagram to capitalize on these markets.

When you visit the Tommy Hilfiger online store today, you can browse a range of modern silhouettes that work well for everyday wear. The brand always features its iconic logo on clothes and this is often the reason consumers purchase them. You can also find a range of clothing, lingerie shoes, accessories, watches, and the diffusion line Tommy Jeans on their website.

Do celebrities like the brand?

In the last decade, Tommy Hilfiger has pushed to collaborate with up-and-coming models and popular celebrities. This collaboration has been great for the brand’s image as these celebrity endorsements include big names like Hailey Baldwin, Kenya Kinski-Jones, Julia Nobis, Jourdan Dunn, Zendaya, Rafael Nadal, and Lewis Hamilton.

The brand even collaborated with supermodel Gigi Hadid on a clothing collection. This is a highly sought-after drop and can be found on many resale websites for a high cost. The drop featured the iconic red, white, and navy colors with additional feminine influences to give the brand a new look. All of the pieces are perfect for casual events, but unlike other brands, they’re made from premium fabrics.

Read: 17 Outfit Ideas for that Preppy Aesthetic (Women’s Edition)

Who does Tommy Hilfiger compete with?

When you think of American fashion, Tommy Hilfiger is a name that comes to mind straight away. However, it’s not the only popular American fashion brand on the market.

Key competitors for this fashion house are Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. These brands have a similar preppy look to the iconic Tommy Hilfiger style, making them similar in design and ethics. While these brands all get inspiration from the classic American ideal, their designs do have different looks and can be easily recognized via their logos.

Check Out: 24 Preppy Clothes Brands that Ooze Ivy League

Is Tommy Hilfiger Fast Fashion?

Tommy Hilfiger is a luxury brand that sits above fast fashion stores in terms of price and quality. It must be noted that this doesn’t stop the brand from malpractice though, as Tommy Hilfiger has an “It’s a start rating” on the Good On You index.

Though the Tommy Hilfiger brand has made a public announcement that they’re cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions in their production, it’s been revealed that the brand isn’t taking great steps to reduce waste within their supply chain. Hopefully, this will change in the next few years as the pressure for brands to go green increases.

Is the brand against animal cruelty?

Those who are vegetarian or vegan may be wondering if the brand is against animal cruelty. Well, unfortunately, it’s bad news as Tommy Hilfiger scores “it’s not good enough” on the animal rating on the Good On You index. This is because many of their products use wool, leather, and exotic animal fur.

Does the brand practice ethical fashion?

Though the brand needs to improve its environmental and animal cruelty practices, they are pushing to make their fashion more ethical and inclusive.

The launch of the “Tommy Adaptive” range proved that the team was taking steps to address inequality in the fashion industry. This unique range strives to make getting dressed easier for all customers.

With innovative construction techniques and premium materials, this range works for all abilities and lifestyles. The range features a variety of models, including disabled models, proving that the brand’s clean-cut preppy fashion is accessible for everyone. You can find women’s, men’s, and kids’ styles in this collection.

Are Tommy Hilfiger Shoes any Good?

One of the most popular products from the brand is its signature sneakers. As the brand has grown, they’ve been able to experiment with accessories, clothes, and jewelry alongside clothing. Their sneakers have become an iconic selling point as their versatility and classic style keep consumers loyal to the brand.

Similar to the design of their clothing, the sneakers have a clean shape and pair well with casual outfits. They often feature the iconic logo and red or blue colors. As Tommy Hilfiger is inspired by classic American style, the sneakers work with business casual outfits too and can be worn in semi-formal dress codes. It’s this versatility that keeps customers coming back for more!

Shop the look:

Buy on Amazon

Another shoe type that the brand is known for is flip-flops. Though this may seem like a niche product, their branded and well-made shoes have been a constant best-seller for decades. Not only do these shoes look stylish, but they are also durable and waterproof too. These shoes aren’t too expensive, yet still, have a luxury feel to them – perfect for anyone wanting a taste of quality products.

Buy on Amazon

Examples of Tommy Hilfiger Outfits

Want to incorporate the classic Tommy style into your life? Here are some key products to add to your outfits!

Jeans

The Tommy Jeans range is arguably one of their most popular diffusion ranges. If you want to embrace the laid-back look, a pair of traditional blue jeans from this brand will complete your wardrobe.

With jeans in all shapes, cuts, and sizes, you can get the 90s look today. Pair these with a red and blue Tommy Hilfiger shirt for a classic 90s style!

Shop the Look:

Buy Tommy Hilfiger Classic Packable Jacket on Amazon

Shop the Look:

Buy Tommy Hilfiger Skinny Fit Jeans (Standard and Plus) on Amazon

Logos

Another way to capture the Tommy Hilfiger style is to go big with their logo pieces. When rappers and musicians embraced this brand in the 90s they wore garments that had bold, clear logos with the Tommy color palette. This is a great way to show off your dedication to the decade!

Shop the Look:

Buy Tommy Hilfiger Women’s Premium Performance Hooded Long Sleeve Tee on Amazon

Watches

If you want a more subtle way to wear the Tommy Hilfiger style, consider investing in one of their signature timepieces. Tommy Hilfiger is known for many products, and one of their most popular is their high-quality watches. Wearing one of these accessories will add luxury detail to your everyday style without being too attention-grabbing. Or if you want a throwback to the 90s this Space Jam Tommy Jeans watch is a nostalgic masterpiece.

Shop the Look:

Tommy Jeans Unisex Space Jam Watch

The Takeaway

Tommy Hilfiger brand is a must-know brand if you want to explore 90s fashion. From their high-quality clothing to their popular accessories, this brand is loved by celebrities and consumers alike. They may need to embrace some better environmental policies, but with their clever celebrity endorsements and classic style, this brand will be in the spotlight for years to come.

Want to explore more brands? Find our opinion pieces here.