Tommy Hilfiger gets it. "It" being the fact that Fashion Week is no longer an exclusive industry event, but rather a potentially huge opportunity for a commercial brand to market itself. As this shift has become more apparent, his shows have become less about the clothes and more about the sets, the It girls and the digital initiatives.
Let's start with the set. For spring, Hilfiger transported us to Malibu beach, replete with tons of (pretty annoying) sand. This season, for fall, he took us to a cozy ski lodge. While predictable, the snowy trees made for an awesome backdrop, and everyone Instagrammed and tweeted the hell out of them.
Then, there was the It girl FROW: Chelsea Leyland and Kyleigh Kuhn, who sat right next to the entrance as photographers fawned.
The brand also really hopped on the digital bandwagon, expanding the "social concierge" service (more on that here) it launched last season, now allowing both show-goers and fans the opportunity to request backstage images in real time though Twitter and e-mail. The designer also invited 20 popular Instagram users to attend and capture the show.
The social concierge worked out pretty nicely for us editors, too. Almost immediately after the show ended, I received an email with all of the details, along with links to a beautifully functioning site where I could download press releases, images, sketches and even a playlist: basically all the resources I'd need to write up a post then and there.
Oh, and there were clothes. Inspired by "the great American outdoors," the collection featured a lot of richly hued plaid and bohemian skirts, dresses, sweaters and beanies that looked like they were made out of patchwork quilts. Literally, most of the clothing looked like it was made out of blankets -- cozy blankets -- but blankets nonetheless. The shoes -- platform leather sneaker wedges -- didn't quite strike our fancy, either. And while there were a few alright-looking flannel shirts and fair isle sweaters, the saving grace was the outerwear. There were some '70s/workwear-inspired vests and coats, accented with shearling (which never fails to look appealing if you ask me) that were very cute.