Not all celebrities are fashion designers, let’s get that straight from the off. The Spring/Summer 2020 TOMMYNOW show was met with another instalment of the Tommy Hilfiger X Lewis Hamilton collaboration. However, this time musician H.E.R. got in on the action for a surprise twist at the London show. As ever with Tommy shows the backdrop was captivating and the setting of the Tate Modern was perfect for a runway show.
Yet, despite this, I’m coming away from this collection with a bitter taste in my mouth. Tommy Hilfiger is undoubtedly my favourite brand and if people know me then they know there is often a Hilfiger flag adorning my pieces. The brand offers a perfect marrying between preppy Americana inspired pieces with a contemporary twist for streetwear enthusiasts- especially with its Tommy Jeans label which can be dressed up or down. However, the Lewis Hamilton collaboration is always one I’ve avoided and that’s not likely to change now for a number of reasons.
Addressing the designs themselves, Lewis is given a lot of creative freedom around this collection which in some ways is positive for the brand’s image- appealing to a mass market through a celebrity. However, as Hamilton is primarily a Formula 1 driver and not a designer, his collections are often a copy and paste of other street-wear labels. We can see this in items like the harness and waist bags which look like they were lifted straight from Matthew Williams’ 1017 Alyx 9SM label. The collection was also quite tame in terms of its colour pallet, with pieces either revolving around neon or earth tones both of which have been seen countless times on runways in arguably more daring cuts.
Nonetheless, there are still positives to be taken from this collection. The draped flags which featured in both the collaboration and the Hilfiger Collection were also a big highlight and a throwback to the brand’s preppy origin. This collection is also very easy to style and will fit in well with other streetwear essentials, as there is a huge assortment of tees and hoodies along with tracksuits. The show was also very diverse in its models which were great to see. Additionally, the women’s pieces were far more exciting than the men’s and look to be the main appeal of the collaboration. Oversized cuts were more dramatic, layering was more carefully executed with accessories and the jumpsuits- something H.E.R. was very keen on including- was a definite highlight. H.E.R’s inclusion in the project was undoubtedly a strong choice as her rising star power will draw a lot of new faces to the brand similar to the way Aaliyah did in the ’90s.
Additionally, the Hilfiger Collection which tailed the collaboration was fantastic and arguably offered the best adoption of classic preppy style on a runway so far this year- the perfect way to celebrate the brand turning 35 years old.
Returning to the men’s part of this collection, we have another problem- in my eyes anyway. Star power is huge in streetwear, especially in collaborations when you’re competing with names like Travis Scott who’s shoes with Nike have become sought after and I needn’t mention Kanye. Then you have the celebrity designers such as Virgil Abloh and Kim Jones who’s names also command a great deal of respect in fashion circles. There lies the problem, whether Lewis’ collection is good or not he may not be a big enough name to appeal to certain buyers. Fans of Formula 1 may flock to his collection but it may not turn heads for people who are looking for the next “big thing”. However, we’re now in a new decade so the potential is there for a seismic shift in the way fashion is both designed and consumed. This might be just what is needed for the future of the collaboration.
Last modified: 21st April 2020