Hilfiger’s clothes had a nice preppy look — appealing to that demographic, but later appropriated into a street look as well.
But ultimately did hip-hop culture ruin his brand? It hasn’t been as relevant as of late, now has it?
There were rumors Hilfiger didn’t want hip-hop artists wearing his clothes, but he dismissed those rumors on Oprah in 2007.
“It hurt my integrity, because at the end of the day, that’s all you have. And if people are going to challenge my honesty and my integrity and what I am as a person, it hurts more than anything else. Forget the money that it has cost me.”
But leaving the preps for hip-hop community hurt the brand — because the preps left during the transition and soon the hip-hop community moved on to other trends.
“Look, it fueled a lot of growth, but it took us away from our roots. We came back to our roots 10 years ago; that’s when our business started to really stabilize and grow again.”
Hilfiger has some advice about being a niche and not chasing trends.
“When people ask me advice, I say stick to who you are. Stick to your guns. There is an image and attitude to most brands and that’s really important,” he advised.
“I like to stick to my heritage and not chase trends and at that point we were chasing trends. Chasing trends was easy but it was dangerous. It’s more important to me now to be consistent,” he added.