As all New Yorkers know, the city’s style varies depending on the borough—and Tommy Hilfiger’s latest collection with designer Romeo Hunte combines Manhattan prep with Brooklyn streetwear for a unique take on Tommy Hilfiger classics.
Hunte, a Brooklyn-based designer and longtime Tommy Hilfiger mentee, puts his signature deconstruction spin on garments from the brand’s storied archive, reimagining key pieces such as a trench coat, biker jacket and Oxford shirt—all featuring the colors of the NYC subway in place of the brand’s heritage Ithaca stripe.
The capsule centers on genderless outerwear, punctuated by a neon orange utility vest, bright yellow puffer coat and a leather-accented color-block trench coat. Other items include T-shirts, footwear, hats, sunglasses and a handbag.
The Tommy x Romeo capsule collection is part of the company’s People’s Place Program, a diversity initiative launched in June 2020 that aims to advance representation in fashion and beyond. It kicked off with partnerships with 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. Together, they’re driving social impact efforts to increase opportunities for underrepresented communities within the global fashion industry.
According to Hilfiger, working with key fashion figures throughout his lifetime has helped him advance in his career. Through this program, he hopes to pay it forward.
“As a young, upcoming designer, I was lucky to be guided by incredible leaders who made a huge impact on my career,” he said. “I am passionate about passing that on, mentoring the next generation of design talent.” Over the past five years that Hilfiger has worked with Hunte, the young designer has remained innovative and “exceptional.”
“Hunte is one of those truly exceptional newcomers—someone you know is going to make an impact as soon as you see his work. I’m really proud of our capsule—it’s truly a meeting point of our two worlds,” he added. “Together we’ve really focused on passing the mic to the next generation of BIPOC creatives and thought leaders to increase representation and amplify their talent globally. Through the People’s Place Program, we want to give them a true platform to shine.”
The accompanying campaign also bolsters diverse talent both in front of and behind the camera. Shot in London, it features BIPOC models Ikram Abdi Omar, Aaliyah Hydes, Hidetatsu Takeuchi and Babacar N’Doye, along with a crew of diverse stylists and hair and makeup professionals.
“We wanted to take this concept further, challenging the status quo from the design process to the campaign and the crew to re-imagine and redefine the future,” Hunte said. “I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved and hope to inspire the next generation of talent to dream big.”
To drum up hype for the collection, Tommy Hilfiger tapped London and NYC artists to paint murals inspired by the campaign imagery. Murals will include a QR code for passersby to learn more about the campaign and view behind-the-scenes videos and other campaign content. In addition, six one-off upcycled Tommy x Romeo polos will be sold on online auction site Catawiki, with proceeds donated to the Fashion Minority Alliance (FMA), a nonprofit focused on building a more inclusive fashion industry.
The Fall 2021 Tommy x Romeo capsule is now available on tommy.com in the U.S. and Europe, exclusive wholesale partner Selfridges and on RomeoHunte.com. The line ranges from $119-$990.