Synonymous with white-toothed, chino-clad boys and sun-kissed girls in little denim shorts, Tommy Hilfiger is a brand with a singular, very American message. It’s a message that has spread across the globe with astonishing speed since Hilfiger founded his eponymous brand in 1984. He now has stores from his hometown of Greenwich, Connecticut to Kolkata. As of this week, he’s expanding once again with a new flagship store in London, the city Hilfiger refers to as “the gateway to Europe”.
Located on Brompton Road, a lacrosse stick’s length from Harrods and Harvey Nichols, it will be Europe’s third-largest Tommy store and the jewel in Hilfiger’s British crown.
We talked to the man himself to find out why we should be excited about the new Tommy base, what makes good pockets so important, and the dangers of wearing bad black shoes with blue jeans. 63-65 Brompton Rd, London SW3, uk.tommy.com
ESQUIRE :Who’s the second-most exciting designer today?
Tommy Hilfiger : I’m a big fan of British designer Simon Spurr. Oh, and New York designer Patrik Ervell — he makes wonderful shirts.
ESQ :Your pet style hate?
TH :Bad shoes, particularly dodgy black Oxfords teamed with bad blue jeans. It’s unforgivable.
ESQ : If you weren’t in fashion, what would you be doing?
TH : I’d probably be in either the film or music industries. I’m a big music lover, I find it hugely inspiring and it’s a big part of my brand. I love everything, from The Beatles to Bruce Springsteen; I’m a classic rock kind of man.
ESQ : One wardrobe essential?
TH: A good jacket is absolutely vital. It’s not only an item of clothing, it’s also your briefcase and should be able to hold everything from your sunglasses and wallet to your mobile phone and spare specs. A jacket with well-apportioned pockets is very important.