Tommy Hilfiger
Photo: John Phillips / Getty

“Keeping the brand relevant is very important to me,” Tommy Hilfiger told us ahead of his latest catwalk show in London. “Keeping the DNA intact, while modernising, is sort of the perfect balance. So I’m always thinking about what is next, without abandoning who we are, but adding on to who we are as a brand.”

Since launching his eponymous label in the 1980s, Hilfiger has gone on to enjoy an incredibly successful 35 years in the fashion business; there’s almost no one better placed or more experienced to comment on the industry’s changing landscape. From stock market crashes and the struggles of brick-and-mortar stores to the game-changing rise of influencers and social media, he’s seen it all. So what does he think is the future for the traditional runway show format?

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“I think the future of the catwalk for Tommy Hilfiger will always be changing,” he says. “I think the traditional fashion shows are dated and are no longer relevant. I think that they’re boring at best, to watch models just walk up and down the runway with a little bit of music playing, and a whole crowd of actors sitting in the front row, pretending they’re clapping, or taking selfies, or photographing the models. I think it has to be much more dynamic – it has to be an experience. It has to be memorable and unforgettable. More than anything else, we need disruption. We need something new and fresh and evolving all the time.”

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Gigi Hadid and Tommy Hilfiger
Photo: Randy Brooke / Getty

The designer is well versed in the power of celebrity endorsement to facilitate that need for constant change, having collaborated on collections with Gigi Hadid, Zendaya and, most recently, Lewis Hamilton. But only when it’s the right partnership, will a brand see success, he says.

“Celebrity collaborations and endorsements are necessary when they work,” he explains. “When it’s organic, and it’s really where two parties are bringing equal amounts of talent to the table, it makes a lot of sense.”

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.

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