In 1969, a bright young 18-year-old named Tommy Hilfiger opened his first store in Elmira, New York, naming it ‘People’s Place’. “It was a dedicated space for people from all walks of life to come and enjoy art, music, fashion and pop culture,” says the fashion legend who last year launched a platform and mentoring programme under the same name during the Black Lives Matter movement. “Our ‘People’s Place Program’ is all about creating opportunities for creative talent from underrepresented BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, people of colour] communities,” says Hilfiger, who is determined to make fashion a more inclusive and diverse industry.
For this fashion line produced under the People’s Place Program, the brand has teamed up with the Brooklyn-born designer Romeo Hunte to create a collection titled Icons, Reconstructed. Here, Hilfiger’s signature ‘All-American’ preppy style is fused with reconstructed silhouettes and a colour palette inspired by New York City's subway.
Growing up, Hunte was a self-described “preppy kid”, who aspired to be an athlete. He played basketball, ran track athletics, and listened to hip-hop legends such as Biggie Smalls – a fusion of American influences that he’s since woven into the work he creates as a fashion designer.
To celebrate the launch of the Tommy Hilfiger X Romeo Hunte Icons, Reconstructed collection, we caught up with Hunte to find out more about the People’s Place Program, having Tommy Hilfiger as a mentor, and how Hunte has left his mark on the heritage brand’s history. Here the Tommy Hilfiger X Romeo Hunte Icons Reconstructed collection is brought to life through imagery shot in London with a full cast and crew of BIPOC creatives.
Head over to the Selfridges Instagram account @theofficialselfridges to watch our interview with Romeo Hunte and Tommy Hilfiger, himself, who will be answering questions from the Selfridges Diversity Board. To find out more about the Selfridges Diversity Board and to discover their goals inspired by Harry Gordon Selfridges’ ethos that ‘everyone is welcome’, click here.