TOMMY HILFIGER might be a truly global fashion brand, with a visual language that’s recognisable on every continent and stores from Shanghai to Sydney. But the brand’s spiritual home has always remained the same. Tommy Hilfiger is the sartorial manifestation of a New Yorker and it has been since 1985, when Mr Tommy Hilfiger launched his eponymous brand. That means that for almost 40 years, the brand has been outfitting those Starbucks-sipping, taxi-hailing, work-hard-play-hard breed of humans, and it continues to do so today.
In previous seasons, Tommy Hilfiger has set its sights on the city’s younger denizens, with collections co-designed in collaboration with Zendaya, Lewis Hamilton and Gigi Hadid. But this season, the brand turned inwards to look at its iconic DNA. What transpired was a decidedly grown-up collection—one that took its cues from that classic Tommy aesthetic, where rugby jumpers were worn under wool overcoats and varsity jackets were worn over everything; whether you were a college student or Harlem rapper, this was clothing for everyone, and everyone wanted to wear it.
This sense of nostalgia was reflected in the show’s setting, which was one of the season’s most charming. A far cry from the pop concert-style runways the brand has staged in recent years, this autumn/winter 2024 show was held inside Grand Central’s iconic oyster bar. It’s the train station’s oldest restaurant; it also lays claim to peddling the largest fresh seafood menu in the city, which includes 30 types of oysters. It originally opened in 1913 and despite a fire and numerous renovations, it still maintains its grand arched ceilings, booth-style seating and old-world charm. A beacon of old New York—the New York Tommy Hilfiger experienced as a young designer—it was a picture-perfect setting for an homage of this nature to unfold.
And unfold it did. With a soundtrack composed by Questlove and a performance by John Batiste, this runway set may have taken us back in time, but it didn’t skimp on the quintessential showmanship that fans love and expect from Tommy Hilfiger.
The menswear took cues from a silhouette the designer himself pioneered, when he sought to relax the codes of America’s preppy style: wider trouser legs, boxy outerwear and relaxed button-up shirts formed part of the offering, while pieces like hoodies and long, slouchy coats leant the collection its modern beat.
For us, the standout styling trick came courtesy of the neck tie, worn loosely around wide, unbuttoned collars. While the tie has been crowned the unofficial accessory of the season, so far, we’ve seen it styled almost exclusively in a traditional knot. Seeing it worn with this nonchalant attitude felt fresh—even if the undone tie has long been a symbol of anti-authoritarianism for school kids forced to do their top button up.
“The Fall-Winter ‘24 collection started as a love letter to New York as Tommy Hilfiger packed a lifetime of memories into one perfect ‘New York Moment’,” read the collection notes. A lifetime of memories is a very long time—and someone as prolific as Mr Hilfiger must have even more memories stashed away than most. Yet this retrospective of sorts formed a stylish tribute to the city that never sleeps, while tapping into the type of clothes men and women want to wear right this very moment. Classics that can be dressed down with athletic details; tailoring that is chilled out enough to wear on the weekend and accessories that will never go out of style.
When it comes to inspiration, few sources are as powerful as DNA.
Photos courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger.
Watch the full show here.