Tommy Hilfiger released his first clothing collection in 1985. Channeling the classic American preppy style, the collection of casual menswear featured buttoned-down shirts and chinos. Hilfiger draws his design inspiration from American icons, such as John F. Kennedy, Grace Kelly, and Andy Warhol. In 1996, the brand expanded to include a women’s collection, and in 1998, Hilfiger released a bed and bath line. In the '90s, Hilfiger, who is a lifelong music fan, was inspired to use a unique marketing scheme of working with prominent musicians, believing that fashion and music subcultures were often connected. Hilfiger’s brand was particularly popular in the hip-hop scene, and the designer enlisted rappers Sean Combs and Coolio to walk in his fashion shows. Tommy Hilfiger also sponsored the tours of music artists, such as Sheryl Crow, Britney Spears, and Lenny Kravitz.
Some of the brand’s most recognizable pieces are the Hilfiger polo shirts, which have been an integral part of the fashion line since its beginning. A current popular design of Hilfiger polo shirts is the slim-fit, bold-stripe polo. This timeless shirt has a tailored fit, running narrower in the chest and shoulder. The shirt's design incorporates the colors of midnight blue, Mars red, and classic white for an all-American look. The back of the collar reads “Hilfiger.” Another bestselling design of Hilfiger polo shirts is the logo custom-fit polo, which is available in bright white, light gray, Mars red, and navy blue. This polo has a slimmer fit in the chest and a shorter length for wearing untucked.
Tommy Hilfiger’s award-winning brand has had continued success. The brand has won numerous awards, including Designer of the Year for GQ Magazine and Parsons School of Design. The label has over 1,800 stores in 100 countries around the world.