Tommy Hilfiger has been one the kings of retail since the ‘90s, and he keeps adding more jewels to his crown. During New York Fashion Week the designer’s TommyxZendaya runway show, a collaboration with actress and musician Zendaya, had one of the top impressions of any other runway show. His see-now-buy-now approach to Fashion Week has done wonders for his business, originally beginning when he first collaborated with It Girl Gigi Hadid. Earlier this year, the brand closed the New York flagship store, but Hilfiger isn’t left without a physical retail presence in New York.
In September, after a successful activation at the Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn, Tommy Hilfiger opened a Tommy Jeans Platform pop-up in Willamsburg that is also a very collaborative space meeting the intersection of art and fashion. The store, located at 150 Grand Street, features a mix of exclusive product and artist collaborations. The red, white, and blue foil façade is an ode to one of fashion’s favorite artists, the legendary Andy Warhol.
The store is home to vintage Tommy Hilfiger product picked by the designer himself from the brand’s archives. The digital room was designed with Instagram lovers in mind, and features a fiber optic music installation by Brooklyn artist Derek Watson. Shoppers can also work with New York-based artist Carlton Yaito to create unique one-of-a-kind pieces. With the retail landscape changing faster than ever, Hilfiger made sure he wasn’t left in the dust.
Tommy Jeans Platform
“We are seeing the retail landscape completely transform with technology and digital media,” Hilfiger said. “It has not only changed how we sell and market our products, but also how consumers shop our brand. Our new strategy is tapping into this shift. We have taken a more localized and engaging approach that meets our next-gen consumers where they are. At our fashion show recently, we had a TommyXZendaya experiential bus offering the collection that had just walked the runway. We currently also have a pop-up shop in Brooklyn called the Tommy Jeans Platform where consumers can shop our product and also enjoy customized activations. We’re taking the next step in creating a more personalized shopping experience for our consumers.”
Brooklyn, particularly Williamsburg, has also become a growing scene of retail traffic with the emergence of stores like Sandro, Maje, and J. Crew. What was once a more heavily residential area has also begun drawing in more tourist traffic, making it an increasingly important market for retailers. For Tommy Hilfiger, this particular activation was different from the types of pop-ups they have done before because of the range of events and activations taking place every month, giving them the chance to customize product, work with artists, experience art and music, all under the same roof. Hilfiger is always on the lookout for new talent, and with so many great creatives in Brooklyn, they had no problem trying to find people who wanted to collaborate on this project. “These artists’ work and aesthetic really fits with our vision for the concept and puts a spotlight on the spirit of Brooklyn,” Hilfiger said.
Customization has also become a great way to get consumers in stores, particularly millennials and members of Gen-Z who want items to celebrate their individuality. “Personalization is a great way for consumers to take their favorite brand and make it their own,” Hilfiger said. “When they personalize our products, they are getting the classic, cool Tommy style they love, but they are also creating a one-of-a-kind piece that will stand out.”