Exclusive: Tommy Hilfiger in talks to stage next runway show in Paris
Call him The American in Paris.
Tommy Hilfiger will be taking his next runway collection on the road again; and his likely next stop is Paris.
The house of Hilfiger has already been in talks with the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, French fashion’s governing body, to agree on a suitable time slot for the show. The Fédération’s committee controlling access to the official fashion calendar is scheduled to meet next week to consider new candidates for the next ready-to-wear season in Paris, scheduled for February 25 to March 5.
Almost certainly, French organizers will be keen to include a mega global brand like Hilfiger on their calendar, though as he generally stages his See Now Buy Now shows in the evening, there will be a careful discussion about the exact timing, given the number of major French brands who often show after sundown.
Hilfiger declined to confirm that a final decision had been made, and apparently there is concern in the American house that the recent violent Gilets Jaunes protest may rumble on into spring in Paris.
Hilfiger’s goal is to stage his spring 2019 collection in Paris in February, an event that will also debut his link-up with the actress and fashion star Zendaya.
The Fédération declined any comment on the development, however well-informed sources say plans are well advanced. The American designer has also apparently approached the noted French show producer Alex de Betak, who created the most brilliant catwalk set in the most recent Paris season, Christian Dior.
Expect one of Hilfiger’s famous rock and fashion extravaganzas, amid the unveiling of his new ambassador Zendaya, and her collaborative special capsule collection. Zendaya, the protagonist of the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home will also star in Hilfiger’s Spring 2019 campaign.
Hilfiger has used a variety of brand ambassadors – like Winnie Harlow and Hailey Baldwin – and real design collaborations, notably with Gigi Hadid and Lewis Hamilton to smartly build a following among the Millennials, a strategy which has left his designer’s rivals lagging well behind.
Paris would be the latest stop in a worldwide tour Hilfiger began after his first high-profile link-up with Hadid, and the launch of his Tommy Now concept where the designer began retailing the collection the instant it hit the catwalk, with a show on a New York pier in September 2016.
The next destination was a beach in Los Angeles, before Tommy x Gigi held a mega show in London’s iconic Rock music temple, The Roundhouse in the spring. Pre-producing some 30,000 pieces in the biggest ever catwalk linkup with the See Now Buy Now phenomena. While in London, he also feted a mammoth new high-tech boutique on Regent Street.
In February 2018, the Hilfiger circus moved to Milan, and an audience of 2,00 inside the Fiera di Milano exhibition space - with a mini racetrack; Mercedes Formula One racecars; pit teams, and Tommy Hilfiger logo on the cars, as the designer celebrated becoming the new F1 Mercedes sponsor.
Three months ago, Hilfiger kicked off the global runway season with an epic show on the Bund in Shanghai, that debuted his collaboration with the multiple world championship-winning driver Lewis Hamilton. Then he celebrated the Tommy x Lewis launch three days later with the New York season’s best party, with Hadid, Hamilton and Nicky Monaj grooving to a brilliant performance by Travis Scoot in the Public Arts hotel. Everyone dressed in the high school meets Hip Hop meets dandy aesthetic of the collection.
Hilfiger’s arrival will be another feather in the cap of the Fédération, which has enjoyed a golden period in the past few years, with major global players and leading avant-garde designers coming to Paris to stage special shows; including fellow Americans Proenza Schouler and Rodarte. The latter, in particular, pulling off a uniquely elegiac show in a Renaissance garden – produced by de Betak. Bold face name foreign designers are generally included as a Membre Invité by the Fédération.
The Hilfiger brand has been enjoying a highly successful period of growth. This year its turnover will exceed $4 billion annually, making Hilfiger the largest single company in the PVH Corp, and significantly larger than its cousin company Calvin Klein.
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