Behind the seams
In anticipation of the inaugural TommyXLewis collection this month, Tommy Hilfiger and Global Brand Ambassador and four-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton share with us what to expect of the first collaborative collection for Fall 2018
Tommy Hilfiger and global brand ambassador Lewis Hamilton share on what to expect from the TommyXLewis collection
What was it that kicksta ed this collaborative collection, and what is it that makes it unique in today’s fashion world?
TH: I have always admired Lewis’ skills on the racetrack, as well as his unique and eclectic style that really speaks to the new generation of “Tommy Guys”. We have both built our careers with passion, dedication and hard work, and these shared values and qualities inspired me to partner with him on this collection. It’s a plus too that he’s very passionate about fashion, and has cool unique ideas that inspired our designs. This makes our design meetings a lot of fun, and I loved introducing Lewis to the world of sketching, fabrics, buttons and stitching.
LH: It’s really a chance for me to celebrate my personal style with the Tommy Hilfiger brand heritage; I was involved in every step of the design process: choosing the fabrics, the colours, and the textures. Tommy and I both see fashion as a powerful tool to break conventions and express who you are to the world. Lines are blurring as men and women are increasingly borrowing from each other’s closets, and I love how the collection can be styled in a way that works for everyone. What can you share with us about the TommyXLewis collection?
TH: The collection revisits our sportswear heritage, as we reinvent the iconic American styles. Designs take inspiration from Lewis’ tattoos, luxury street style and his lucky number 44. They feature bold colours, sporty influences and versatile shapes. It’s a celebration of our brand DNA, also at the same time it’s something totally fresh for us. The logo celebrates the iconic Tommy Hilfiger flag positioned behind Lewis’ initials in navy. We kept the brand’s signature red, white and blue colour palette, and used the same font as Lewis’ tattoos.
LH: While the collection embraces Tommy Hilfiger’s sportswear roots, it is also very close to my personal urban-chic style. I wanted every piece to be comfortable but outstanding, as designs draw inspiration from my “Loyalty” tattoo and lucky number 44 ‒ a number which my dad chose when I started out in junior karting, and which I’ve stuck with for the rest of my career.
What are your favourite pieces in the TommyXLewis collaborative collection? LH: I love the iconic military-green parka with the detachable reversible liner ‒ a true wardrobe essential, I must say! When I’m at home I dress for comfort, and the white tracksuit is perfect for this. The word “Loyalty” on the back of the top and the velvet stripe taping on arm and leg seams add an unexpected, cool twist.
TH: I love how proportions get playful throughout the collection, from oversized tops to skinny fit jeans. We have some great outerwear pieces this season, including the padded denim trucker jacket that adds a casual twist to any look.
Why did you pick the word “Loyalty” to feature on the different styles in the TommyxLewis collection?
LH: I live by a very strong set of values in life, and loyalty is one that my father taught me about from a very young age, and which inspired my tattoo as well. Whether in my personal or professional life, I’ve always been loyal to my family, my friends, my fans and my incredible team. Likewise, Tommy shares these same values and is surrounded by an incredible team that is very passionate and loyal about the brand.
What other words inspire you every day?
LH: “Family” and “Faith,” which I also have as tattoos. Since the beginning of my career, my family has always believed in me, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their support. I’m also very strong in my faith; I’m truly blessed by the life I lead, though I’ve worked hard to achieve everything I have accomplished.
How impo ant is fashion to you?
LH: Growing up, all my time was focused on motorsport training, so fashion was not something I was really into. However, over the last 10 years, I have attended fashion shows and met incredible creative individuals who have inspired me to become more confident at experimenting with different styles. I’ve always loved to stand out from the crowd wearing bold colours and patterns, which is why Tommy Hilfiger is a brand that really appeals to me.
TH: I’ve always believed in trusting your instincts, and embracing your own style ‒ don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it, and I see that in Lewis too.
LH: Working alongside Tommy and his team, I’ve also learned the importance of embracing my individual style, to not be afraid of pushing the boundaries and suggest new designs. Whether it is adding unexpected details, like contrasting threads or different buttons, it will also give classic styles a cool and unique twist.
What is the most rewarding pa of working in the fashion industry?
TH: Partnering with incredibly creative and inspiring talent like Lewis! Since launching the brand over 30 years ago, I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with incredible pop culture and sport icons, such as The Rolling Stones, Aaliyah, David Bowie, Lenny Kravitz, Beyoncé, Rafael Nadal, The Chainsmokers and Gigi Hadid. These partnerships have all injected freshness and newness into our collections, inspiring others to embrace their individuality and express themselves through fashion. How do you pick yourself up when faced with challenging times?
TH: Every challenge is a great learning experience. It can take you one step closer to achieving your dreams. Despite hardships, you have to always stay true to yourself and stick to your vision. Which is why this is a very exciting time for the Tommy Hilfiger brand, as we continuously come up with unique and engaging ways to present our amazing new collections. I love the challenge of reinterpreting classics with a modern and unexpected twist that appeals to the next generation of Tommy Hilfiger consumers. I’m proud of what we have achieved and I believe the best is yet to come.
LH: Challenges are an opportunity to understand who we really are, and what we’re made of. I believe in taking in the positive from these situations, and using this to push myself to realise my full potential.
“I’VE ALWAYS LOVED TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD WEARING BOLD COLOURS AND PATTERNS, WHICH IS WHY TOMMY HILFIGER IS A BRAND THAT REALLY APPEALS TO ME”
What makes Lewis Hamilton an icon of tomorrow?
TH: Lewis has a powerful drive to grow and succeed in all aspects of life that really captivates his audience. His love of music and fashion, as well as the values that guide him every day, I believe they inspire younger generations to follow their dreams relentlessly.
Who is your ultimate icon, and why?
LH: My father is my hero and closest friend. He spent all of his savings and dedicated all his time outside of work to support my racing career when I was growing up. He has always believed in my dreams as much as I did, and I will be forever grateful towards him for all his sacrifice. AM