PVH-owned Tommy Hilfiger continues to reinforce the connection between fashion and social good with two newly launched initiatives.
The brand announced it formed the first round of partnerships within its People’s Place Program, a plan it established last summer to help increase opportunities for underrepresented communities within the global fashion industry. The program’s first partnerships include 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 People’s Place Program is a cornerstone in our efforts to open the door to everyone who has been left out by fashion,” said principal designer Tommy Hilfiger. “This welcoming spirit has always been at the heart of our brand, and we are here to do more and to do better.”
Together, the program and FRD will fund and support “The Unsung History of American Sportswear,” a research project that documents overlooked influences from Black American culture on signature Tommy Hilfiger styles. The findings will then be developed into a content series that will be shared publicly.
The program will sponsor HFR’s 3rd Annual Digital Fashion Summit taking place later this month, and together will establish mentorship opportunities for emerging talent.
In addition to expanding partnerships within the People’s Place Program, the brand is also driving social impact through online courses it’s offering in partnership with digital learning platform FutureLearn.
Beginning Feb. 15, the program will include an array of courses hosted by celebrity activists including actor and body-positivity champion Jameela Jamil, musician and sustainability activist Mogli, performer and DJ Kiddy Smile, mentorship collective Compton Cowboys and actor and model Indya Moore. Themes cover sustainability, LGBTQIA+ allyship, body confidence and community building.
The four-hour-long courses are free of charge and will debut throughout the month of March, with Moore’s scheduled for this summer. Once premiered, courses are viewable indefinitely on FutureLearn.com on mobile, tablet and computer devices.
According to the Hilfiger, education is the first step to moving forward as a whole.
“We want to not only inspire, but enable our fans to make a positive difference in their own lives and the lives of others,” he said. “Creating free, meaningful courses through the FutureLearn platform is one way we are equipping them to do so. These socially driven, online classes teach material that isn’t always covered in schools but is so important today. To move forward together, we all need to learn more about ourselves, our communities and the planet, and that’s exactly what our courses teach.”
The concept of moving forward together was the focus of the brand’s Fall Icons campaign that featured a diverse group of trailblazing women including Precious Lee, the first African-American curve model to appear on the pages of American Vogue; Haima Aden, a model and UNICEF ambassador who famously wore a hijab on the cover of Sports Illustrated; Carolyn Murphy, one of the most iconic models in the ’90s; and others.
The campaign further solidified the brand’s strong stance on diversity and inclusion, which included 24 ambitious targets for building a more welcoming and sustainable company. Last summer, the brand pledged to make fully circular products, operate more responsibly, be more inclusive, and create equal opportunities for all at Tommy Hilfiger by 2030.
“We are determined to continue putting real action behind our words,” said Avery Baker, president and chief brand officer of Tommy Hilfiger Global. “Equity and inclusion cannot be achieved through short-term recognition; we have to bring them to the forefront every day.”