It pays to be an influencer — especially if the person you're influencing is the one and only Tommy Hilfiger. (Just look at the resounding success of Hilfiger's collaboration with Gigi Hadid, which will return for spring 2017 with a "see now, buy now" runway show in Los Angeles.) When the designer took over the ornate Palazzo Corsini in Florence Tuesday night to present his fall 2017 men's Edition collection as part of the city's Pitti Uomo trade fair, he brought along a few Instagram-famous "It" boys for the jaunt to Italy.
"We have Presley Gerber here," he said while holding court among a crowd of prosecco-sipping well-wishers. "We have Lucky Blue Smith. We have Julien Ocleppo, the tennis player. We have Jude Law's son [Rafferty]. We have up and coming, very cool people."
But the guys — who, along with model Gabriel Kane Day-Lewis, also in attendance, have a combined Instagram following that's roughly 10 times greater than the population of Florence — weren't just there for a photo op. Hilfiger actually designed the assortment with millennials like them in mind. (And he's not the only one: Dolce & Gabbana cast almost the exact same crew for its spring 2017 #DGMillennials-themed ad campaign, which features Gerber, Law, and Day-Lewis — as well as noted social media stars Luka Sabbat and Cameron Dallas — galavanting around the island of Capri.)
"I'm trying to develop a collection of clothes that they will actually like," Hilfiger explained. "It's a nonchalant attitude about dressing. They don't care what the label says normally. They pick items that they love, whether it's a shirt from Supreme and a vintage Levi's [jean], with maybe an M1 military jacket. They just like the look."
Hilfiger has been a pillar of prep for much of his 32 years in business. His interpretation of what he calls the boys' "Southern California vibe" includes upping the proportions of shirts and sweaters for a casually oversize effect — perhaps the closest Hilfiger will get to a Vetements-style, bigger-is-better aesthetic.
"I love that influence," he said of the baggier fit his muses have adopted. "I think the oversized look is so appropriate."
Also on his vision board: Drake and Rihanna, who he named as points of inspiration for where Tommy is today as a label. "Those types are all wearing this again, because they may have bought vintage Tommy recently," he added.
Tommy Hilfiger: Instaboy stan, unexpected tall-tee enthusiast, and, maybe, the world's most famous Drake-Rihanna shipper (after Drake, of course). The things you can learn at a fashion show halfway across the world.
Disclosure: Pitti Uomo provided travel and accommodations to cover the trade show.