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Casual Charm
Photograph by Manmeet Bhatti
Published: Volume 15, Issue 5, May, 2007
Tommy Hilfiger, the man behind the iconic all-American casualwear brand, recently returned to Mumbai to rekindle his Indian connection

Tommy Hilfiger began his career in high school when he sold 20 pairs of bell-bottom jeans for $150. Today he is the owner of an international lifestyle brand that offers a wide range of womenswear, menswear, accessories and linens to the rich and the famous. Verve gets upclose and personal with the multimillionaire designer and entrepreneur.

On launching in India before other international brands
"I feel very lucky. Being the first American designer brand in India has established the fact that Tommy Hilfiger is passionate about its presence in the subcontinent. We came here because Indians all over the world were buying our clothes."

On learning from Indian design
"I love the vibrant colours worn by Indians. People here sport unusual yet great colour combinations. I also like the intricate beading, embroideries, sequins and the ethnic handwork."

On his first visit to India
"I came here to design my first collection in 1978. It was made by a local manufacturer in the basement of his house in Juhu and I stayed at the Sun & Sand Hotel. I took the collection back to the US, sold it and returned for more. In those days I sold under the brand name of Tommy Hill."

On his daily routine
"My daily routine comprises meetings and discussions. In the mornings, I meet the marketing team and discuss about our budgets and strategies. In the afternoons, I usually work on advertising concepts and meet different designers, models and celebrities."

On three important tips to new designers
"Know your customer. Design wearable clothes. Give the very best quality at a very best price."