Skip to main content

Hilfiger celebrates 25 years of classic style with New York show

By Rupa Mikkilineni, CNN
Tommy Hilfiger celebrated the 25th anniversary of his label with 25 limited-edition pieces inspired by American legends.
Tommy Hilfiger celebrated the 25th anniversary of his label with 25 limited-edition pieces inspired by American legends.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The designer's collection includes looks inspired by Grace Kelly and James Dean
  • He calls his combination of classic looks with a rock 'n' roll vibe "the Tommy Twist"
  • The Strokes perform at the after-party, with more than 1,200 guests in the audience
RELATED TOPICS

New York (CNN) -- Tommy Hilfiger began his career selling jeans out of the back seat of his car in upstate New York. On Sunday night, the designer celebrated the 25th anniversary of his fashion label with 25 limited-edition pieces inspired by American legends.

"It's been an amazing journey from where I started," Hilfiger told CNN as looks derived from classic style icons hit the runway.

"Grace Kelly--we have a halter dress inspired by her and a sleeveless trench, but with a modern twist," Hilfiger said.

Next came a Steve McQueen-inspired navy pea coat, a James Dean-inspired leather motorcycle jacket and a Debbie Harry-inspired hooded sweater.

Hilfiger said music, film and pop culture have always helped spark his ideas. In the early days, top rap musicians often sported his label. It symbolized cool street-wear in the 1980s and 1990s.

Today's collection has evolved into a more preppy, country-club, classic look -- but with a rock 'n' roll vibe.

"It's what I like to call the Tommy Twist," Hilfiger said, dressed in one of his own looks for the season: red trousers and a navy blue blazer, the epitome of relaxed preppy.

In keeping with his pop-culture-infused style, the fashion show's after-party featured a live performance of critically acclaimed American rock band The Strokes, who made a comeback appearance after years of touring in Europe and Canada.

After four years on hiatus while honing their skills on the music festival circuit overseas, the invite-only bash at the Metropolitan Opera House was the perfect opportunity to return home, said Denise Sullivan, a spokeswoman for

for the Hilfiger / Stokes event.

Sullivan said it's her understanding that Hilfiger has a long history of involvement with rock stars, and that The Stokes respect that.

More than 1,200 guests turned out, and -- in typical "Tommy" style -- the turnout was diverse; musicians and Hollywood stars mingled with high school teenagers, bankers and airplane pilots.

Music legend Russell Simmons and former wife Kimora Lee attended, along with Jennifer Lopez, Serena Williams and Lenny Kravitz.

The Strokes performed on the second-tier balcony -- above the Met's grand, red velvet stairs and beside bold Chagall paintings -- emphasizing again the theme of the evening, the Hilfiger motto of "classic meets rock."