Streetwear increasingly seems to be entering its grown-up phase. A number of buzzy designers have snagged posts at storied luxury houses, sending out loose suits and opulent sweaters. Heck, Kith recently collaborated with luxury bedding brand Parachute on logofied sheets and duvet covers. The idea of what a hip, creative person wears is changing into something more tailored, more polished, and more refined.
Tommy Hilfiger is well-poised to capitalize on this shift, especially among Millennial and Gen-Z shoppers. For a number of years now the celebrated designer has expanded traditional codes of prep and moved his international brand into a much more youth-focused and street-influenced direction. This continues with Hilfiger’s spring 23 collection, which the designer previewed at the brand’s offices in Manhattan. “I like to move away from just sweats,” Hilfiger says, showing off an immaculately tailored pair of chinos that would go great with an oversized cable-knit sweater. “We’ve been doing a lot of streetwear for many, many years and I like when it becomes much more elegant.”
What excites Hilfiger about today’s fashion landscapes and the outfits he sees on New York’s streets? “Proportions,” he says. “And new shapes.”
This is certainly reflected in the collection, design-wise. There are a number of pieces that fabulously align with trends and tastes among younger shoppers. There’s a chunky sweater in lime-green (a recurring color in the collection), which features a textural 3D waffle print. Hilfiger points to the garment and then holds up a pair of pleated trousers in the same bright, fluorescent shade and calls it a great look. There are also boat shoes that feature thick soles, jacquard baggy shorts, and a low-rise micro skirt and crop sweater. As he shows off garments that fabulously play with dimensions and silhouettes, it becomes clear Hilfiger has his eye planted firmly on tomorrow. (Many of the sweaters and hoodies in the collection are made with recycled polyester and sustainable denim is featured throughout.)
Another chief influence on the nautical-tinged collection: Andy Warhol and the hazy days he spent at his Montauk, New York residence (some of which are poignantly documented in the recent Netflix documentary The Andy Warhol Diaries). Hilfiger, who has paid tribute to Warhol repeatedly, says his memories of the art icon still stick with him today. “I met Andy when I moved here in the ’80s, and he took me to his factory,” he remembers, sharing his awe at viewing the hotel artist’s paintings of Mohammed Ali, Diana Ross, David Bowie, and others. “It blew me away.”
“I always connected the brand with music and musicians,” the designer continues. “But then I thought, ‘Okay, but Andy’s doing pop cultural icons.’ I started evolving from doing groups of people from Hollywood—the sports world, the music world, influencers.”
With this collection of washed styles, comfortable fabrics, and smart tailoring, it’s easy to imagine oneself as an off-duty artist vacationing in a private enclave. Or at least feel like one.