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Hilfiger Family Introduces Tommy Hilfiger Gallery at Elmira College

The Hilfiger family, including Tommy, Andy and Betsy, introduced the Tommy Hilfiger Gallery at Elmira College to board members, local press, donors and close friends at a press conference today.

The Gallery, which recognizes Hilfiger’s family connections to their hometown of Elmira, N.Y.,  is located in Hamilton Hall, the future site of faculty offices and classrooms for the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School, first revealed in April..

On display in the Gallery are select memorabilia and fashion items, rock ‘n’ roll artifacts, special awards and photos from the family’s history.

“There will be a gallery of photographs and the original advertising I did for People’s Place in the ’70s, all the way up to different ad campaigns from today, a lot of awards and plaques, and different clothing I’ve collected for inspiration,” said Hilfiger. That includes pieces he designed for the Tommy Hill collection in 1980, as well styles from Twentieth Century Survival that he started in 1982. He also noted that his brother’s guitar collection is featured. “Some of it is from the PVH archives, but most of it is from our personal archives. My brother Andy and I have personally collected our own archives over the years,” said Hilfiger.

                                     <p>         </p>                               <p>The Gallery opens to the public in January. Betsy Hilfiger, Tommy’s sister who lives in Elmira, is curator of the Gallery and will give free tours two days a week by appointment.</p>                                    <img src="https://wwd.com/wp-content/themes/vip/pmc-wwd-2021/assets/public/lazyload-fallback.gif" alt="GALLERY " height="561" width="375" />                                    A look at the Gallery.                          courtesy shot             <p>“Our family is so excited to contribute items to the <a href="https://wwd.com/eye/parties/fgi-night-of-stars-2021-tommy-hilfiger-norma-kamali-fausto-puglisi-1234976329/">Tommy Hilfiger</a> Gallery from their own business pursuits,” said Betsy Hilfiger. “Once we open in January, I can invite area schools to come for hands-on presentations so that even younger generations can grow up learning about our family’s history and the career avenues they might explore by attending the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School.”</p>                                   <img src="https://wwd.com/wp-content/themes/vip/pmc-wwd-2021/assets/public/lazyload-fallback.gif" alt="Elmira College's Hamilton Hall." height="349" width="560" />                                     Elmira College’s Hamilton Hall.                             courtesy shot.            <p>Elmira College, founded in 1855, was important to Hilfiger as he began his career. He began selling bell-bottom jeans to the Elmira College students and later employed many of them in his first shop, People’s Place, located in downtown Elmira. Hamilton Hall was chosen as the first location of the Gallery and School because of Hilfiger’s childhood memories of the building.</p> <p>“Elmira College and I have a shared vision where a new generation of fashion professionals can take inspiration from the entrepreneurial spirit of my family while learning about the business of fashion,” Hilfiger added.  “Our goal is to create a pipeline of talent to an essential and growing industry.”</p> <p>The Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School offers students either a concentration or minor in Fashion Marketing or Fashion Merchandising along with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.</p> <p>Hilfiger said he personally donated $100,000 to create the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School.</p>                                     <img src="https://wwd.com/wp-content/themes/vip/pmc-wwd-2021/assets/public/lazyload-fallback.gif" alt="Hilfiger Family Introduces Tommy Hilfiger Gallery" height="554" width="393" />                                   Some of the Hilfiger family’s childhood images.                             courtesy shot.            <p>“We are honored to partner with the Hilfiger family for the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School and the Tommy Hilfiger Gallery,” said Charles Lindsay, president of Elmira College. “The partnership truly speaks to a blending of the liberal arts and professional programs that Elmira College is known for. The Gallery and the fashion business program offer students an opportunity to explore self-expression, gain a broad view of the world and begin their own fashion industry careers.”</p>                                        <p>         </p>                              <p>Alison Wolfe, business and economic chair and director of the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School, said, “This is a unique program and students are excited to learn it can be completed in three years. The program includes a strategically designed curriculum and hands-on, out-of-the-classroom experiences. It creates a place where students learn about not only the daily operations of the fashion industry but also the history, the people and the deep connections it has to other industries.”</p> <p>The fall 2021 term marks the first term the Fashion Marketing and Fashion Merchandising concentration and minor were offered to students. Starting in the fall of 2022, students can participate in a three-year accelerated program, allowing them to graduate with the bachelor’s degree and a fashion marketing or fashion merchandising concentration in just three years. This option also gives students the opportunity to do extended internships, study abroad through the college’s partnership with Regents University London or start a graduate program.</p> <p>When asked how important a fashion business education is to succeed in today’s fashion industry, Hilfiger, who didn’t attend college and started People’s Place right out of high school, said, “I think fashion business and merchandising classes are way different than design classes. If you want to be in the business of fashion, you really should graduate from a school that will teach you the ins and outs of the fashion business. Most people who fail in the fashion business fail because they don’t understand the business of fashion. They may be creative and have a good idea, but what they have to understand in addition to design is merchandising and the business part of it. A lot of design schools don’t teach it and don’t focus on it, but I think it’s really important to be successful to really understand the business of fashion.”</p> <p> </p> <p>FOR MORES STORIES:</p> <p><a href="https://wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/tommy-hilfiger-receive-top-honor-fashion-awards-london-1234969515/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tommy Hilfiger to Receive Top Honor at Fashion Awards in London in November</a></p> <p><a href="https://wwd.com/fashion-news/sportswear/tommy-hilfiger-brand-at-1234664238/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tommy Hilfiger at 35: Still Revved Up and Rarin to Go</a></p> <p> <a href="https://wwd.com/business-news/markets/tommy-hilfiger-peoples-place-program-harlem-fashion-row-1234727173/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tommy Hilfiger Strikes Key Partnerships to Advance Underrepresented Communities in Fashion</a></p> <p><a href="https://wwd.com/business-news/business-features/tommy-hilfiger-fashion-business-school-at-elmira-college-1234798393/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tommy Hilfiger’s Family Establishes Fashion Business School at Elmira College</a></p>                                        <p>         </p>

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