Tommy Hilfiger at New York Fashion Week 2008
"Dressing should be a fun, creative way to express yourself, with clothes celebrating your individuality," says Tommy Hilfiger, whose designs epitomize the creativity and diversity of America. The Elmira, New York, native began his retail career in 1969 with $150 and 20 pairs of jeans. The self-taught designer opened his own stores in upstate New York called People's Place. As principal designer for his namesake company, Hilfiger ensures that his complete lifestyle collections for men, women, children and the home reflect a combination of the classics and the latest fashion trends. Hilfiger is actively involved in a number of charities and causes, including the Washington D.C. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation and the Anti-Defamation League. He has also served on the board of directors for the Fresh Air Fund and the Race to Erase MS. The fashion industry has honored Hilfiger many times. His achievements include the GQ magazine Designer of the Year award, VH1's "From the Catwalk to the Sidewalk" award and the prestigious CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year Award.