He defines classic Americana — from the instantly recognisable blue, red and white logo, to the rockstar-chic, easygoing vibe of his iconic brand. Globally acclaimed fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger is in town to celebrate 10 years of his presence in India, and the self-made legend is still as humble as a newcomer.
Smiling through the course of the interview, the designer tells us that India has been an inseparable part of his life. Back in the 80s, Tommy worked in the country with the help of an Indian family. “I worked with a family in Delhi — the Ahujas who owned a company called Shahi, and I eventually got very close to them. In those days, it was a dirt floor factory with only 10 tailors and I would give them my sketches and they’d make samples for me. Thus, my connection with India goes way back,” he says.
“Fabrics in India are really the best in the world!” he adds.
The 63-year-old designer has been very vocal about the effect of music on his design ideology — from being influenced by English musician David Bowie to the late great Jimi Hendrix.
When we told him that our own Punjabi musicians often make references to his brand in their songs, he laughed and exclaimed: “I’ve actually heard some of it and I love it! But, if you go way back, Ravi Shankar was playing with The Beatles, and introducing them to the sitar, which might be one of the most difficult instruments to play. I was totally obsessed, and really moved by his music.”
In India only for three days, Tommy shared his plans of coming back. “I have actually explored a lot of the country over the years. But, I want to come back and take my family to Jaipur, travel by train and maybe see the countryside,” he says.