Tommy Hilfiger’s name will now grace the halls of a college close to his heart.
The American fashion icon announced a partnership with Elmira College in Elmira, N.Y.—Hilfiger’s hometown—that introduces a fashion program and connects students with industry leaders for real-world learning.
The Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School falls under the school’s bachelor’s degree in business administration program. Beginning this fall, the program offers a concentration and minor in fashion marketing and fashion merchandising. Students learn data analysis and communication strategies for launching brands in the fashion marketing program, and research, design and data analysis methods in the fashion merchandising program.
According to Hilfiger, providing students with real-world experience is vital to fashion’s future.
“The fashion industry runs on a never-ending influx of new talent, and this program will be instrumental in shaping aspiring designers and entrepreneurs through first-hand knowledge and experience in the business,” he said. “Elmira College has a national reputation for experiential learning in and out of the classroom, and this new program will open up exciting career opportunities for students as well as boost the industry’s talent pool.”
Elmira College’s business administration program has had a long relationship with the Hilfiger family, including siblings Andy and Betsy Hilfiger, who also played a role in the program’s development. In the past, the family has hosted career workshops, among other contributions to the college. In 1969, Hilfiger launched his first store in the area before going on to become a global fashion icon. He and his family have given back to the community ever since.
Hilfiger is an outspoken champion of supporting young people with aspirations for a career in fashion. The brand’s People’s Place Program, a plan that helps increase opportunities for underrepresented communities within the global fashion industry, partnered with organizations such as the Fashion and Race Database (FRD), an online platform committed to challenging misrepresentation within the fashion system, and Harlem Fashion Row (HFR), a New York-based agency focused on the advancement of people of color in the fashion industry.
The brand is also in its third edition of the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge, a program that aims to “amplify and support black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs who are working to advance their communities and foster a more inclusive future of fashion.”