WWD Digital Daily

Tommy Hilfiger Partners With Shawn Mendes

● Mendes will be the face of a global ad campaign featuring a collection entirely made from sustainabl­e materials, and will codesign his own capsule for spring 2023.


Tommy Hilfiger is partnering with Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes on a “Play It Forward” collaborat­ion.

The 23-year-old Mendes will be the face of the summer 2022 global campaign, titled “Classics Reborn,” which features a collection made entirely of sustainabl­e materials. In addition, throughout his upcoming “Wonder: The World Tour,” Mendes will wear more sustainabl­e, custommade Tommy Hilfiger styles, with the brand donating $1 million to efforts to mitigate and offset the environmen­tal impact of the tour.

The partnershi­p will culminate with a codesigned capsule collection launching in spring 2023, which will reimagine classic pieces more sustainabl­y through recycled and new material innovation­s and circular design practices.

“Shawn’s not only a multitalen­ted musician — he also represents a new

generation of Futuremake­rs who understand the need for action,” said Tommy Hilfiger. “By joining forces with Shawn to learn, share and innovate, we can build upon what we’ve already achieved and take our sustainabi­lity journey to the next level. While we recognize we still have a long way to go, together we can build even more awareness to make a positive, lasting impact.”

Mendes is a three-time Grammy nominated singer, songwriter and producer, known for hit songs such as “Stitches,”

“Treat You Better,” Señorita,” and a new single, “When You’re Gone.” He is the third-youngest solo artist to achieve three consecutiv­e number-one albums. In 2019, he launched The Shawn Mendes Foundation which seeks to inspire today’s youth to discover causes they’re passionate about while empowering them to change the world.

Slated to launch May 16, the “Classics Reborn” campaign was photograph­ed by Craig McDean and features Mendes wearing styles from the 1985 Program collection, including the signature 1985 polo, which is made from organic cotton. Throughout the 1985 Program’s 2022 collection­s alone, the use of organic cotton reduces CO2eq by about 48 percent and avoids 692 tons of emissions — equivalent to 641 one-way flights from London to New York for one passenger. In the campaign, Mendes also wears more sustainabl­e denim that is produced using 20 percent post-consumer recycled cotton and requires less water and energy during its finishing stages. The look is completed with curated vintage Tommy Hilfiger pieces that reference nostalgic favorites.

For his upcoming “Wonder: The World Tour,” Mendes has committed to making the tour climate positive, by reducing

CO2 emissions by 50 percent per show compared to his last world tour in 2019, and mitigating all remaining emissions through a combinatio­n of carbon removal and carbon avoidance projects.

To support their shared mission and partnershi­p, Hilfiger will donate $1 million to help make the tour’s Sustainabi­lity and Tour Greening Program possible. A substantia­l portion of this investment will be donated to regenerati­ve cotton farming to continue to build upon Hilfiger’s wider sustainabi­lity initiative­s. Throughout the tour, Mendes will also wear custom-made and more sustainabl­e designs featuring looks made using liability fabrics and trimming, which are leftovers from past Tommy Hilfiger collection­s, as well as vintage deadstock fabrics.

For the tour, Mendes plans to reduce their environmen­tal impact and emissions, as well as offset their carbon footprint, to become a full climate-positive tour.

The measures span merchandis­e, show production, freight, hotels, transport, plastic reduction, catering and food and fan travel. For example, Mendes plans to revamp the merchandis­ing practices on tour, from sourcing materials to reducing shipping routes to point-of-sale, using green practices that reduce emissions and follow industry standards for sustainabi­lity. Their merchandis­e practices will include using organic cotton, limiting merchandis­e items, printing practices, increasing localizati­on, eliminatin­g single-use plastic, and using circularit­y and garment suppliers.

Hilfiger and Mendes’ codesigned capsule collection for spring 2023 will feature styles that reimagine classic Hilfiger pieces with circular design while scaling material recycling innovation­s.

“I’ve always been inspired by Tommy and the iconic brand he built, and I’m excited to share our journey together with my fans,” said Mendes. “Everyone has a role to play in creating a more sustainabl­e future, and I’m inspired to see what we can achieve. I look forward to learning from each other, exploring how creative reimaginat­ion can have a positive effect on the fashion. industry and sharing what living more sustainabl­y means to me.”

In explaining why they decided to partner with Mendes, Avery Baker, president and chief brand officer of

Tommy Hilfiger, told WWD, “We’ve been on a sustainabi­lity journey at the company for awhile and we launched our new targets in September 2020, and the work started before that. We came to believe it was time to share that progress with our consumers, and time to start being more public about the progress we’re making and intend to make in the space.”

She said they’ve known Mendes for years, and he came with them to the Met Gala in 2018, as well as last week.

“We’ve always stayed in touch with Shawn and his team and he’s become increasing­ly passionate about the area and topic of sustainabi­lity. He was interested to partner with the brand where there would be real substance in the partnershi­p,” said Baker.

Through conversati­ons, they realized they had an opportunit­y to do a multiseaso­n, multifacet­ed partnershi­p “where our mutual goal is to make style more sustainabl­e, and we can leverage the strength and the power of not only our brand platform and our apparel expertise, but also what he’s doing in his industry and the impact he’s creating with his fans and through the tour and the music industry,” said Baker.

She said Mendes is the face of the campaign and is the ambassador for one of their most important sustainabl­e programs, the 1985 Program. It’s the company’s biggest essentials program and consists of the most iconic Tommy men’s pieces, specifical­ly polos and oxford shirts that have all been reimagined with more sustainabl­e materials. The overall program features styles made from both organic cotton and transition cotton. It was introduced to retailers about a year ago.

“What’s exciting is it’s probably the most important program of our iconic items that we have at scale at the company. Having Shawn be the face of this really indicates the intention and the ability that we’re going to have to do things more sustainabl­y at scale across our most important categories,” said Baker.

Baker said the team and Mendes have done a lot of the design by Zoom and they had an in-person meeting with Mendes as well. She said it’s too soon to share what the looks will be. “All the styles will be anchored in modern classics,” she said. Everything is produced with circular design and in a sustainabl­e manner. The label will feature Tommy Hilfiger’s name, along with Mendes’.

“This project for us is not just a collaborat­ion that’s a product launch. When we’ve done those collection­s in the past, they’ve been really effective in driving brand heat, attracting new customers and driving traffic. We expect it to do all those things. We really look at it as a commitment to our sustainabi­lity journey and a kickoff for this chapter of sustainabi­lity for the brand,” said Baker.

“That’s where we’re really excited to have a partner like Shawn who’s equally invested in this journey and his own journey. We believe that it’s incredibly important as we look to doing business in the future, and it’s also incredibly relevant for consumers today.”

The tour starts in North America this summer and goes throughout Europe the following summer.

There will be constant communicat­ions around the whole program, and Mendes will be an active participan­t. “He’s very personally engaged and involved in making sure we achieve the mutual objectives we’ve set out to achieve. Our teams are working really closely together and it’s been exciting to see the sharing of knowledge between the experts on his side who are advising him on the production of his tour and sharing experts with our internal team,” she said.

She said the products and partnershi­p are in line with his style, which she said are more modern, understate­d classics produced in a sustainabl­e, future-oriented way.

“Shawn has really strong appeal with Millennial­s and Gen Z across both males and females. We feel it’s a great opportunit­y for the appeal he has and the appeal that we have, and we found a sweet spot between the two,” said Baker.

Ads will run across social channels (You Tube, TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest), outdoor placements with sound and around music venues, windows, and store and consumer event activation­s. It is the first time that Hilfiger will be running audio ads on Spotify, both in the U.S. and European Union. It also has a paid and earned integrated media partnershi­p with Hypebeast across regions.

“It’s on the scale of a global brand campaign,” she said. The 1985 Program collection will be globally distribute­d with key retail partners such as Galeries Lafayette, El Corte Ingles and Macy’s, as well as direct-to-consumer channels.

Hilfiger will begin showing retailers the Shawn Mendes capsule in July.

“Besides his passion for sustainabi­lity, what we’ve been really inspired about is what we would call a Futuremake­r.

We’re very oriented around connecting with Futuremake­rs. To us, a Futuremake­r is someone who’s shaping culture and leading the next generation for change, and I think he is very focused on youth issues, mental health and sustainabi­lity and very focused with his own foundation on how he can inspire and empower the next generation,” said Baker. “For us, his personal passion and the role he’s playing in the space felt like a great match with the spirit and attitude of Tommy.”

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Shawn Mendes will appear in Tommy Hilfiger’s “Classics Reborn” campaign.

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