Welcome to our column, "Hey, Quick Question," where we investigate seemingly random happenings in the fashion industry. Enjoy!
They (bumper stickers; tiny, wise grandmothers) say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but that idiom can be hard to stomach when the copying in question is done so literally. We see this quite often in the fashion biz, and even have a column called "Adventures in Copyright" to address these very incidents. Sometimes an ad campaign will draw a little too much inspiration from an indie magazine, but generally, one commercial or fast-fashion brand will just jack another, higher-end brand's product. That said, we rarely see companies ripping off, uh, airplanes from one another.
On Tuesday evening, Instagram posts began to roll in that showed a bunch of models boarding a red-eye flight to Los Angeles. This fact alone makes sense: Tommy Hilfiger, who is known to have a great model lineup, is showing his second "see now, buy now" runway show in Venice Beach on Wednesday. Weird, did they all fly Delta?
Hilfiger, whose devotion to an Instagram-friendly spectacle remains impressive, chartered a private plane, dubbed "#AirTommy," for the event's models. Doesn't this sound exactly like a Victoria's Secret Fashion Show gimmick, for which the lingerie giant often stuffs an Airbus with its models, staff and editors for a highly-branded transatlantic PR extravaganza? Did Hilfiger just straight up rip off Victoria's Secret?
To be fair, it's not like Victoria's Secret owns the rights to a) planes, or b) providing transportation to remote show locations; if you're going to make your models fly 2,450 miles for a one-day job, it's courteous to provide them a means to get there. But, to reference another idiom grandmothers say, the devil is in the details.
Wake up, sheeple! This is the exact same plane.
Like Victoria's Secret, Hilfiger provided #AirTommy-specific merch to be worn for the flight and plenty of photo ops along with it.
Each seat came complete with #AirTommy pillows and blankets. This makes sense. Planes get cold. But it's still the same as Victoria's Secret.
#AirTommy even gave its passengers — including Hilfiger himself, assorted influencers and actual Victoria's Secret models Bella Hadid, Joan Smalls and Alanna Arrington — those fake tickets emblazoned with a hashtag.
What we're asking here is: Is this going to become a regular thing? Have we reached the pinnacle of Instagram bait where designers attempt to court Generation Z kids using Boeing vehicles? Can't wait for some brand to partner with Richard Branson and take Gigi Hadid aboard Virgin Galactic next season. Does Instagram work in space? Surely Mark Zuckerberg can figure something out by September. There's content to be made!
Homepage photo: Rich Polk/Getty Images for Tommy Hilfiger