Tommy Hilfiger paid homage to late reggae super-star Bob Marley and immersed himself in Caribbean culture, for his Spring/Summer 2016 collection at this season’s New York Fashion Week. However, despite Hilfiger’s attempt at making his clothing look Caribbean-inspired, it’s worth noting that he wasn’t always so keen at mixing up cultural trends – and by that we mean his clothes with hip-hop culture.
In an interview with Bloomberg News last year, Hilfiger stated that before his brand became a staple in the hip-hop community, he was hesitant to involve his clothing in it because he likes to stay close to his heritage, and not follow trends. Yet following a trend was exactly what he has now done.
“Look, it fueled a lot of growth, but it took us away from our roots,” he said. “I like to stick to my heritage and not chase trends, and at that point we were chasing trends. Chasing trends was easy, but it was dangerous. It’s more important to me now to be consistent.”
At his latest show however, Hilfiger sent his models down the catwalk sporting long, meshed sundresses and vests, coupled with crotched bucket hats striped in black, red, green and yellow. The ensembles feature images of monkeys and a colorful knit lion. And one look in particular had the words “Island Gal” printed on it. Also, there was a tracksuit that resembled one Marley sported back in the 70’s. In addition to the clothes, the set also had a very island feel; the runway was made to look like a boardwalk in the middle of a lagoon, with a beach bar. Cultural misappropriation, or nah?
Scroll through some of the collection above.