Thursday, February 7, 2008

Fashion Road Kill?

I remember the days when Tommy Hilfiger was synonymous with all-American apparrel. The days of wearing "Tommy Girl" perfume were not that long ago. You had to have the latest pair of Tommy jeans.

Not so anymore.

Where has Tommy gone? The preppy niche that originally defined the Hilfiger brand seemed muddied, as Hilfiger branched out to include more urban clothing. Perhaps it was Tommy Hilfiger's mansion in the Hamptons or WASP persona that didn't translate well to his urban audience? No, that wasn't it.

In a New York Times article entitled, "Tommy's Tumble" Rene Chun references other brands like Timberland and Polo who have also had success in urban customers. "Indeed, the white-bread designer [Tommy] actually began to cater to their culture-specific sartorial taste: The silhouette became larger-than-life, the palette became brighter, and the logo blew up, in some instances so large it covered the entire garment."

So, how did Tommy Hilfiger loose his momentum?

One could speculate for eons why this once-influential designer has disappeared from the main-stream and into the bargain bins at Ross. Perhaps, it's as simple as not keeping up with the trends of today. The over-sized, ribbed sweaters of the 90's do not exactly translate to the needs of shoppers today, nor can cable-knit sweaters carry an entire brand. I think it's time for a reinvention.

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