Tommy Hilfiger revealed that he wanted to become a rock-n-roll star, but was “tone deaf” and recalls his strict parents’ attempts to prohibit him from wearing ‘bad boys’ tight jeans when he was young.

  • Hilfiger, a New Yorker who was born in New York, said that he was inspired and inspired by British artists like the Rolling Stones
  • London’s fashion scene was fascinating the designer.
  • He was inspired to travel to the UK and start his fashion line in the 1980s

Tommy Hilfiger has revealed he purchased his first pair of Levi’s jeans and Converse sneakers at the age of 13 in a bid to be a rock’n’roll star – but was forced to sneak out of the house so his parents didn’t see his tight jeans.

The 70-year-old designer from New York is referring to bands like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones as having sparked a fashion revolution and inspired his clothing collection. 

American fashion genius, The American Fashion Guru, started designing preppy clothing in the 1980s for his own line of menswear. Later, he expanded his range into womenswear.

American Tommy Hilfiger says he used to sneak out of the house so his parents didn't see his 'bad boy' tight jeans and was inspired by the British rock scene to travel to London in his early twenties

Tommy Hilfiger, an American designer and entrepreneur from the USA says that he sneaked out of his house to hide his tight pants. He was also inspired by British rock music to visit London during his early twenties.

The American fashion guru, pictured in 2019, said bands like The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin - who were at the height of fame at the start of the designer's career - sparked a 'fashion revolution'

The American fashion guru and pictured here in 2019, claimed that artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin — who had reached the peak of their fame just before the beginning of his career as a designer – helped to create a ‘fashion revolution. 

‘I had to sneak out of the house because my parents didn’t want me wearing really, really tight jeans’, he said in an interview with The Sunday Times Style magazine. 

“They believed that this was only for the bad guys.” I wanted to become a rock’n’roll star, but my ears were not open.

He said that the rock scene in Britain inspired him, calling looks coming from Carnaby Street and the King’s Road ‘revolutionary’.  

He said, “All the style came from London with The Beatles, Stones, and Led Zeppelin.” 

The designer's brand hit mainstream fame in the 1990s. Pictured, Naomi Campbell waking in a Tommy Hilfiger runway show in 1999

In the 1990s, Tommy Hilfiger’s brand became a household name. Naomi Campbell in 1999, as seen at the Tommy Hilfiger runway shows.

Hilfiger left school to open the People’s Place store in upstate New York in 1971, selling bell-bottoms, peasant blouses, and leather jackets before starting to design clothes of his own. 

When the People’s Place went bankrupt in 1977, Hilfiger enrolled in classes on the business side of the fashion industry. 

After working for various labels the designer founded his own company called Tommy Hill in 1979 before securing funding for a high-profile marketing campaign in 1985. 

He said that the rock scene in Britain inspired him, calling looks coming from Carnaby Street and the Kings Road 'revolutionary'. Pictured, a model walking in a Tommy Hilfiger runway show in the 90s

According to him, the British rock scene inspired him. He called the looks from Carnaby Street or the Kings Road “revolutionary”. Photo: A model in Tommy Hilfiger’s runway show of the 1990s. 

He was able to join Ralph Lauren, who became the first American casual wear icon in just a few short years. 

A lifelong rock fan, Hilfiger’s collections are often influenced by the music subcultures and he became one of the first designers to sponsor artist tours – from Lenny Kravitz to Britney Spears. 

By 1992 Hilfiger had expanded into women’s clothing and luxury items, and the preppy brand became synonymous with the hip hop scene –  with R&B artist Aaliyah becoming a highly publicised spokesperson for Tommy Hilfiger Corporation in 1997. 

Hilfiger bought his company in 2006 for $1.6 Billion. Phillips-Van Heusen bought Calvin Klein, the company’s owner from Apax Partners, for $3 billion in March 2010.