Tommy Hilfiger is putting its words to action.
The brand is collaborating with its People’s Place Program, which launched in July 2020 to amplify the company’s efforts to increase opportunities and visibility for underrepresented communities in the fashion and apparel industries around the world. The program just announced its first round of partnerships, which will be with The Fashion and Race Database and Harlem Fashion Row.
“The People’s Place Program is a cornerstone in our efforts to open the door to everyone who has been left out by fashion,” Tommy Hilfiger said. “This welcoming spirit has always been at the heart of our brand, and we are here to do more and to do better.”
Created by Kim Jenkins, Assistant Professor of Fashion Studies at Ryerson University, FRD is an educational resource that brings focus back to the people who previously had been hidden in the margins of fashion history. FRD and The People’s Place Program will be funding and supporting a new research study called “The Unsung History of American Sportswear” to uncover overlooked influences from Black American culture on signature Tommy Hilfiger styles.
“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,” Jenkins said. “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 a detailed examination of American sportswear by studying denim, the cotton trade, origins of preppy style at HBCUs, the sartorial expression of social activist moments, streetwear culture, and more.
“This critically timed relationship will support FRD’s goal to center and amplify racialized fashion scholarship, illuminate under-examined histories and address representation throughout fashion,” Randy Cousin, SVP, Product Concepts and People’s Place Program, said.
The second partnership is with Harlem Fashion Row, a New York-based agency created to champion the advancement of people of color in the fashion industry. Together, Tommy Hilfiger and HFR will identify ways for emerging talent to receive mentorship and network with internal teams and industry insiders.
Tommy Hilfiger is also a supporting sponsor for HFR’s 3rd Annual Digital Fashion Summit, which will take place on Feb. 18. Hilfiger and Cousin will join HFR Founder and CEO Brandice Daniel to discuss how Tommy Hilfiger is working towards creating more access and opportunities for BIPOC talent in the fashion industry.
“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,” Daniel said. “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.”
Tommy Hilfiger is using social media to drive change as well. 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 celebrate the people and culture that inspire them every day.
Looking forward, Tommy Hilfiger will be launching collaborative capsule collections this summer with actor, model, and activist Indya Moore and fashion designer Romeo Hunte, a longtime mentee of Hilfiger, to give voice to the authentic spirit of individuality and self-expression.
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